Mortgage/Secure Loan Arrears (Section 11)

There is a requirement for lenders to inform the council of the possibility of eviction due to arrears. This is called Section 11.

What is Section 11?

Section 11 of the Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003 was implemented with effect from 1 April 2009. This part of the act requires all landlords, including private landlords, and creditors (mortgage and secured loan lenders) to notify North Lanarkshire Council when they raise possession proceedings or serve other eviction type action notices.

Why is this important?

The main function of a section 11 notice is to give the council ample knowledge that an individual, or household, are at risk of becoming homeless. Once aware North Lanarkshire Council may intervene to see if the eviction can be halted through mediation or other means, also, the notice will give the North Lanarkshire Council time to discuss alternative housing options with you.

When will Section 11 notices be issued?

Register Social Landlords (RSLs) and Private Landlords

Initial contact to NLC will be made by RSLs and Private Landlords at the point of completing the Court Summons. In most cases, this will provide around 6 to 8 weeks for NLC staff to intervene to try and prevent the possible homelessness from occurring.

Creditors

Section 11 notices can be issued by a lender at any of the following points depending on the action they wish to take to recover a property;

  1. Call-up the standard security - owner has two months to repay all monies owed. Failure to comply allows the lender to sell the property without any recourse to the Court. If the debtor does not agree to vacate voluntarily an ordinary action for repossession can be raised in the Court to evict the homeowner and other occupiers.
  2. Serve a Notice of Default - where the owner has not complied with a calling-up notice, or has failed to make repayments and is in arrears.  The owner then has one month to remedy the situation from the date of the serving of the notice. 
  3. Initiate Court Proceedings - raise court proceedings to recover possession.

How do they do this?

The lender is entitled to raise court proceedings seeking to repossess the property when there are arrears under Section 24 of the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform Act (Scotland) Act 1970. 

If you don't respond to the Initial Writ within the 21 days the Sheriff will normally grant a decree for repossession without a date being set to hear the case at court.  If this happens the next thing you receive is a Sheriff Officers letter you to leave before a stated repossession date.

Court Action is raised by way of an Ordinary Cause Action at the Sheriff Court.  You will receive a type of court summons called an Initial Writ. 

If you don't respond to the writ in time and decree is granted the case can be brought back to court via the Reponing Note procedure. 

It is worth noting that many lenders will enter into negotiation after a decree for repossession has been granted.  You will always have the threat of repossession hanging over you should you fail to keep to the agreed repayment arrangement.

What can North Lanarkshire Council do?

The local housing office will be in touch and notifying you of where additional information and advice can be sought.

A Housing Advisor will contact by a personal visit to determine if the potential homelessness can be averted.

The Housing Advisor will undertake assist you and give you appropriate prevention advice and information such as:-

  • Advise of legal rights e.g. Tenancy Rights, Mortgage Rights Act, Matrimonial Homes Act.
  • Possible mediation with landlord or creditor
  • Referrals to other parts of NLC e.g. Financial Inclusion Team, Money Advice, Welfare Benefits or external agencies such as the CAB, Shelter or Legal Services Agency. Other options to stay in current home e.g. Home Owners Support Fund (Income Support for Mortgage Interest, Mortgage to Rent and Mortgage to Shared Equity), Sale-and-Rent-Back schemes (from June 2010)
  • Support to sustain current home e.g. benefits, budgeting, etc.

Data Protection

If the Housing Advisor can refer you to other agencies in relation to support and assistance, you will need to give Permission to North Lanarkshire Council to share your details unless these agencies already have existing arrangements within service level agreements or protocols to share information.

Personal data should not be kept longer than necessary for the purpose of its provision.

Where are the Section 11 notices sent?

Section 11 Notices in North Lanarkshire should be sent to the Quality & Performance Section via email:- HousingQ&P@northlan.gov.uk. In the event of email not being available, they can also be sent by post to:-

Quality & Performance
North Lanarkshire Council
Housing & Social Work Services
4th Floor, Dalziel Building
7 Scott Street
Motherwell ML1 1SX

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