Daniel Richardson, Property Receiver and Insolvency Practitioner, CG&Co

EXPECT the sound of starting pistols to ring loud and clear on August 23 this year…

At that point, the stay on repossessions will be lifted and courts across England and Wales will reopen for business.

Literally thousands of possession and enforcement proceedings will then start being heard as the “new normal” commences.

So, what does this mean for those lenders and brokers who currently have default cases on their books?

In short, it’s imperative that they keep taking decisive action by engaging Property Receivers at the earliest opportunity throughout the COVID-19 era.

What’s more, various appropriate actions remain open to proactive Receivers at this point in time that have the potential to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties.

The current situation…

The ability for a possession order to be obtained and enforced is currently restricted until August 23.

Please also bear in mind that the stay could be extended if further outbreaks of COVID-19 occur.

But this doesn’t mean that nothing can be done.

It’s worth stating at this point that any lender authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) needs to follow the FCA’s guidance and avoid either commencing or continuing possession proceedings until October 31.

Nonetheless, proactive Receivers are currently working tirelessly on behalf of unauthorised lenders operating in the unregulated market by issuing claims, in full knowledge that they’ll subsequently be stayed until August 23.

And there’s wisdom in this approach.

The imperative to ensure that the requisite paperwork’s in place when the stay is lifted makes total sense.

With the courts expected to be stretched, it will be those cases that have been presented correctly at the earliest opportunity that will subsequently be heard most quickly.

What’s more, since the first stay was introduced on March 27, 2020, I’ve found that it has directly resulted in CG&Co seeking – and subsequently achieving – more consensual arrangements with borrowers.

We’ve achieved these results by using every means at our disposal – from arranging conference calls for meetings to engaging process servers to assist with the personal delivery of letters – to ensure that borrowers quickly realise the importance of engaging with us at the earliest opportunity.

And this has directly resulted in lenders recouping their loans in the shortest possible timeframe despite the lockdown.
To discover more about the options available to unregulated lenders at this point in time, please click on the link HERE [https://cg-recovery.com/] to see CG&Co’s COVID-19 Lenders’ Guide.

To conclude…

The lifting of the stay on possession proceedings represents a major step along what’s likely to prove a rough path to the “new normal”.
We’ll soon discover precisely how legal hearings will resume from August 23.

For example, will they take place remotely – via a web-based platform or telephone – and will there be different considerations between Courts at a local level?

With so much uncertainty, it remains imperative for Receivers to adopt the most proactive approach possible on behalf of clients.

Receivers at CG&Co have been working tirelessly on behalf of lenders over the past four months to ensure that they’re ideally placed to continue progressing possession orders with a view to securing the most appropriate resolution at the earliest opportunity.

And – ultimately – that’s good for everyone.