Proposed changes to the legal aid system may mean that solicitors will be reluctant to take on cases for clients who are threatened by repossession.
Greenwich Housing Rights, a charity which provides free legal advice for people with housing problems, has expressed concern that new government legislation will mean that solicitors will be reluctant to take on such cases in future.
The government is reforming legal aid payments in a move which will save millions, moving from the current system, whereby solicitors are paid by the hour, to a fixed fee based system.
When the changes come into effect later this year, the government will pay a standard fee for each case taken on, regardless of how long it lasts.
This means that those who need it most will suffer, including people who have fallen behind with mortgage payments and are facing legal action.
According to Greenwich Housing Rights manager Matt Ventrella:
“Our fear is there will be no reason for lawyers to take on difficult cases if they won’t be paid for them. More people will risk losing their homes if they cannot get legal help.”
“We take on a lot of legal housing emergencies, both at court and in our office, but there’s no way we could help everyone if more solicitors drop out of legal aid.”
More people are under threat of repossession recently, as mortgage rate rises have pushed up the cost of mortgage payments.
If you find yourself in financial difficulties, rather than waiting until your house is close to being repossessed, one solution is to sell your home to a property cash buyer.