It’s never been more important for lenders to ensure that they’re in pole position when it comes to property receivership.

What do I mean by this? In short, repossession cases must be as far advanced as possible to ensure that loans are recovered at the earliest opportunity once restrictions are fully lifted.

There are innumerable reasons why this is imperative…with the first anniversary of the outbreak of coronavirus crisis fast approaching, it’s likely that some of the loans written during the first lockdown will be approaching expiry. Yet we continue to work through truly unprecedented times – and who’s to say when they will conclude. When it comes to property receivership, the worst thing that could happen is for any form of reticence to set in. Lenders simply can’t run the risk of issues surrounding liquidity arising.

The current situation

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced on February 14, 2021, that there will be another extension to the ban on bailiff evictions as a result of the national lockdown restrictions. This ban, introduced at the start of the pandemic, has been extended for another six weeks from February 21 until March 31.

The government has also made clear that these measures will subsequently be “kept under review in line with the latest public health advice”. Exemptions remain in place for the most serious circumstances.

This announcement will clearly have a direct impact on unregulated lenders’ ability to enforce repossession orders, and the situation is much the same for lenders authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. In late January, the FCA confirmed that it was extending the period within which firms should not enforce repossessions for another three months from January 31 until April 1.

The FCA’s approach took into account the worsening Covid-19 situation at that time and the government’s tighter restrictions, which meant that borrowers could potentially experience significant harm if forced to move home during this period due to repossession proceedings.

What must happen next

While the ban on bailiff evictions has been extended, there still remains a great amount that can be done to ensure that default cases are consistently progressed as far as possible. Throughout the pandemic, CG&Co has consistently made certain that the interests of those lenders we work for are consistently as far advanced as possible.

We’ve entered into discussions with borrowers via web-based platforms or telephone calls and issued pre-action correspondence and possession proceedings online.

We’ve also collaborated actively with borrowers by seeking voluntary agreements for surrendering possession while simultaneously keeping them fully informed about the potential consequences of contested possession proceedings. These actions have borne the best possible outcomes for our clients throughout each of the lockdowns – and continue to do so.

To conclude…

At CG&Co, we remain determined that those lenders we work for will consistently be able to use their own funds to relend at rates that are most advantageous to them. It remains essential for default cases to be as far advanced as possible to ensure that evictions can be enforced at the earliest opportunity once the enforcement ban is lifted. We fully intend to continue adopting our highly proactive approach until the end of March – or for however long it takes. As far as CG&Co is concerned, nothing less than pole position for our clients will ever suffice.