What is a suspended order for possession?

Watch a Directgov video where an experienced judge, District Judge Stephen Gold explains what a suspended order of possession is and how it works.

District Judge Stephen Gold: More on suspended orders for possession.

(The judge then gives a summary of the meaning of an imaginary but typical example of a suspended order for possession)

"You must leave in four weeks but nothing will actually be done about getting you out provided you pay the monthly payments you originally agreed on plus £50 or whatever a month off the arrears."

That’s how a suspended order works.

The judge cannot suspend, however hard the circumstances, if there is no prospect of the arrears being reduced. And the judge can only suspend if the arrears will be cleared within a reasonable period. Reasonable? It will depend on the circumstances. The judge is likely to look at how much you can reasonably afford to pay: if you have had a temporary difficulty in meeting your obligations, how long the difficulty will last; why the arrears arose; and whether the Department for Work and Pensions is paying anything towards the interest due – or should be.

If the breakdown in a relationship is behind the arrears it could be relevant that money will come out of matrimonial type proceedings which could clear or make an inroad into the arrears.

How long the mortgage has to run and the difference between the market value of the property and what is owed to your lenders will also be important factors.

The arrears would have to be cleared before the end of the mortgage.

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