Last edited: 6 Aug 2017 Lessons for people facing court proceedings Don't panic when you get the letter with a court date on it If you follow the advice below, you will not lose your home. The bank is hoping that you will panic. Don't. Stand up to them. Every Registrar is different, so the practice in your court might be different. Show up in court even if the bank tells you it’s not necessary You will get a longer adjournment if you want one It shows respect for the court It shows that you are acting responsibly and taking your debts seriously You get used to speaking in court. The first few appearances are rarely adversarial. If you have to argue your case and it’s the first time in court, you may lose confidence. In the unlikely event that the Registrar grants an order against you, then she will give you a longer stay on that order. Pay something meaningful. Even if you can’t pay much, pay something. But even if you are paying nothing, show up in court and explain why. If you show up in court and pay something meaningful, it’s unlikely that you will lose your home. If you pay nothing and if you don’t show up in court, it is much more likely that an order will be granted against you. The banks make a lot of mistakes which you can exploit to get an adjournment. It’s better to get an adjournment because you are paying your mortgage and hope your circumstances will improve, but if you need to exploit their mistakes, here is what they do: They don’t serve you proper notice of the proceedings They file an affidavit the day before the court hearing They forget to file an affidavit that they have complied with the CCMA Evidence that they changed their name from Ulster Bank to Ulster Bank DAC is not on the file. They sometimes don’t appear in court. You are probably better off representing yourself than using a solicitor – there are very rarely any legal arguments of any substance. It’s more personal if you are speaking directly to the Registrar. It’s easier for her to grant an order without looking the borrower in the eye. Relying on bogus legal arguments from the fringe legal groups is not a good idea. You will get a shorter adjournment than you would have otherwise got or you will be referred quickly to the Judge’s List where a repossession is much more likely Attend a few sittings of the Repossession Court before your case is due to be heard. You will get to know the ropes and it will be less intimidating. You can get a list of all the cases from the Circuit Court website. It's usually published late the previous evening. Print this off so that you know where you are on the list. See post below on how to find this list. On the day, get in 15 minutes before the start and sit at the front so you can hear your case being called. The Registrar does not grant the bank costs when a case is struck out. So if the bank’s solicitor tells you that they will be applying to strike out the case and you won’t need to attend, attend anyway, and ask the Registrar about costs. She will probably make a specific direction that costs are not to be added to the case. (I am very interested in hearing from anyone whose bank charged them legal fees without a court order.) The Registrar will help borrowers who are genuinely doing their best. She will order the solicitor and the bank to designate one person to deal with you if you have been messed around by the banks.