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If you cannot repay the mortgage or other loans secured on your home, you risk having your home repossessed. This means your mortgage lender will take possession of your home and you will lose your right to live there. However, in many cases, repossession can be stopped.

If you are worried about repossession, talk to an adviser immediately. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to prevent or delay repossession. Use the Advice Services Directory to find a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice in your area. An adviser can help you:

  • work out your options
  • negotiate with your lender
  • fill in court papers
  • find someone to represent you in court.


Reasons for repossession

The most common reason for repossession is mortgage arrears. However, failure to pay secured loans can also result in repossession. This page looks at these and other less common reasons for repossession. Find out what causes repossessions

Repossession procedures

Even if you are behind with your mortgage or loan payments, your lender cannot just throw you out of your home. There are procedures that must be followed, starting with notices that you must be given to warn you that the repossession process is starting. Check what repossession procedures your lender must follow

Preventing repossession

If your home is at risk of being repossessed, there are options that you can try to prevent this from happening. This section looks at how you might be able to prevent court action, depending on your situation. You may be able to negotiate a repayment arrangement with your lender, or apply for a court order stopping or delaying the repossession. Find out how to prevent repossession

Tenants, spouses and partners

If you are worried that the home you are living in may be repossessed, but you are not the person who took out the mortgage, you may still be able to prevent or delay the repossession.Stopping or delaying repossession if you're not the borrower

Secured loans and second mortgages

If you miss payments to your secured loan or second mortgage, your lender can take action to repossess your home. This section explains more about the procedure your lender must follow and action you can take to delay or prevent this. Missing payments on secured loans or second mortgages

Going to court for repossession

Your lender can apply to the sheriff court for an order to repossess and sell your home. Before the property can be sold, your lender will also require an order telling you that you have to move out. You can apply to the court for an order stopping or delaying your lender from repossessing the property. Court procedures for repossession


Even if your lender has a court order allowing them to sell your property, they can't sell it with you in it. You can only be forced to move out if they also have a court order that says you have to leave the property. This is called a warrant of ejection. If you don't leave by the date specified in the warrant, sheriff officers can remove you. What procedure your lender must follow to evict you

After repossession

This section looks at your housing options after your lender has repossessed your home. It also explains what happens when your lender sells your home and what you can do if you are left with an outstanding debt after the sale. Debts from repossessions and finding a new home


The Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Act 2010 came into force 30 September 2010, causing major changes to mortgage repossession law. Get advice on the law and how it might affect you.