Our Court Duty Scheme provides free last-minute advice and court representation for people who are facing eviction, when repossession cases are being heard in Brighton, Lewes or Hastings courts. The courts closed for a period during the Covid-19 pandemic, but when they reopened the scheme resumed.
The Court Duty Scheme helps people like Sarah, who was facing eviction after falling behind with her mortgage payments. She was in her fifties and she and her husband had always worked and paid their bills, but suddenly everything changed when her husband suffered a life changing head injury.
Sarah had her own business but gave it up to look after him, and used up all their savings to keep paying the mortgage and bills.
When Sarah met with our adviser in court she confided that she was terrified that her husband would be taken into residential care. They had never spent a night apart in over thirty years of marriage.
Our adviser used her knowledge of case law to get the possession suspended and an affordable repayment plan for the mortgage arrears arranged. She also identified benefits that Sarah was entitled to that she was unaware of. This meant that Sarah and her husband could stay together and did not lose their home.
Last year, our advisers were able to intervene and successfully suspend possession orders in 80% of the cases where they represented people facing eviction.