County Court Helpdesk
We provide fast, effective assistance in all areas of advice including debt, housing, welfare benefits and employment. Our principal aim is preventative but, on occasion, people encounter situations where immediate help is needed, and we are happy to provide assistance if possible.
One issue that has recently come to the fore is where people have been hit by the recession who are unable to maintain their mortgage or rent payments. Our county court help desk and texting service means we are able to respond quickly.
Citizens Advice run the County Court help desk for mortgage and rent repossession sessions.
People who have hearing at the County Court for mortgage or rent repossession can visit the helpdesk. This is a drop-in service, where defendants can simply turn up at court approximately half an hour before the hearing time.
The fully trained staff, provide advice and representation with a view to keeping people in their homes.
In the period April to December 2010 the helpdesk assisted over 210 defendants, 77% of whom were able to keep their property thanks to our help.
This service, in common with all Citizens Advice services, is free, impartial, confidential and independent.
Mr R, a family man with four children under the age of 8, attended the CAB court helpdesk. Mortgage arrears stood at £1,850: the current monthly instalment, £287 per month.
He had been in contact with the lender who said they would accept an additional £413 per month to clear the arrears. Mr R agreed to do this even though it was unaffordable because he thought he had no option.
The help desk adviser, after making an assessment of his financial situation, represented Mr R and the District Judge ordered Mr R to pay his mortgage plus £50 off the arrears, thus helping Mr R to maintain the payments and thereby keep his home.