Blogging from A-Z Theme: Homelessness
Back in August of 2012, I had what was to be my final court date to save my home from repossession, again here were in court pleading my case, I did have extenuating circumstances and had already had one repossession dismissed to give me a further 6 weeks.
Now herein lies the problem, your caught up in the bureaucracy, it’s better to have everything in writing, but it takes them up to 14 days to reply, if you phone it just evaporates as the people at the other end don’t always give their names or forget.or just deny any such phone call was made.
You can visit your mortgage company, who do listen and will help but at the end of the day they just want their money.
Citizens Advice will help you draft letter and also make phone calls on your behalf, but as with my case the person who was my case worker was off on sick leave, and she had all the information, and her colleagues with heavy case loads of their own would only really take messages, but couldn’t do anything in a practical way of assistance.
You can begin packing and storing your possessions, but that cost money and friends might allow you to use some space but only in the short-term, and to be honest this really wasn’t something I wanted to tell people about, I was ashamed, and more importantly you can’t get help until your actually out on the street.
You do get a letter from the Bailiffs office informing you of the date and time of their arrival, on the day I made a last-ditch effort to go to the County Court to plead my case alone, as the day before I didn’t get a stay of execution, I had a very small chance of overturning the magistrates decision.
Spending over 5 hours in court that day I begged, pleaded, cried produced 12 pages of documents, I even had a new job to start the next day, which would have given me half a chance all to no avail the order was to go ahead.
On the way home I received a phone call from the lender telling me they were on their way to my property, now with County Court Bailiffs they can gain access and remove you and your goods, in effect break into your property.
Imagine the scene when I arrived home they were already in possession, people walking around my home the locks had already been removed, I’ll be honest I became hysterical, my neighbour’s of some 20 years were all there berating the bailiffs/mortgage lender, it was an incredibly traumatic scene and one I’ll never forget.
Once I was calm enough they gave me an hour to pack a case and temporarily re-home my cats, the dilemma is also what to take and where was I going to sleep that night.
It was late in the day, therefore I couldn’t get any help and had to scrabble around to find somewhere to sleep in addition, the night shelter was mentioned (but that’s for another day) I was starting a new job the next day.
I packed what I could, one of my neighbour’s negotiated that I could come back in 14 days to remove the rest of my property my home! so there I was at 6pm homeless.Over 16.000 people were evicted/had their homes repossessed last year, through County Court who use bailiffs, well the figure is probably more that when you include children into the mix, if you are in receipt of benefits you can no longer as you don’t have an address, it’s a vicious cycle, and for me the realisation of how quickly you can become invisible.