Legal Aid Denied for Struggling Homeowners
As the number of repossession cases increase, more homeowners are being turned away from free legal representation. This is coupled with government research which estimates that 85% of homeowners who go to court with legal representation can avoid repossession, as those who fail to get proper legal advice tend to get a poorer agreement with their lenders.
Transact report that many homeowners who are in need of legal aid, are being turned away due to lawyers being overwhelmed with the rise of repossession cases. Just last month, the Ministry of Justice reported a 17% increase in the number of orders made by the courts in England and Wales at the early stage of the repossession process.
Faith Reynolds of Transact, the national forum for financial inclusion for individuals facing hardship or poverty, blames this problem as a direct result of the credit crunch, and commented: “Many of the homeowners facing difficulties are on relatively low incomes but not entitled to legal aid. The experience of Transact members shows that these people desperately need more help to protect their homes in court and they need it now.”