Property Receivership and COVID-19: Why the most proactive approach is truly imperative


aniel Richardson - Partner CG&Co

THIS is not the time to pull any punches…

When it comes to property receivership, it has become more essential than ever before that the most proactive approach is always taken.

Lenders simply owe it to themselves to ensure that repossession cases are consistently as far advanced as possible to ensure that loans are recovered at the earliest opportunity.

It’s stark to think that the first anniversary of the outbreak of coronavirus crisis is now fast approaching – and that some of the loans written during the first lockdown will be approaching expiry.

Yet none of us know for certain, at this point in time, when the current restrictions will end.

The current situation…

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced on February 14, 2021, that there will be another extension to the ban on bailiff evictions as a result of the national lockdown restrictions.

This ban, introduced at the start of the pandemic, has been extended for another six weeks from February 21 until March 31.

The government has also made clear that these measures will subsequently be “kept under review in line with the latest public health advice”.

This announcement will clearly have a direct impact on unregulated lenders’ ability to enforce repossession orders.

And the situation is much the same for lenders authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

In late January, the FCA confirmed that it was extending the period within which firms should not enforce repossessions for another three months from January 31 until April 1.

The FCA’s approach took into account the worsening Covid-19 situation at that time and the government’s tighter restrictions, which meant that borrowers could potentially experience significant harm if forced to move home during this period due to repossession proceedings.

What must happen now..

While the ban on bailiff evictions has been extended, there remains a great amount that can be done to ensure that default cases are consistently progressed as far as possible.

Throughout the pandemic, CG&Co has always made certain that the interests of those lenders we work for are as far advanced as possible.

We’ve entered into discussions with borrowers via web-based platforms or telephone calls and issued pre-action correspondence and possession proceedings online.

We’ve also collaborated actively with borrowers by seeking voluntary agreements for surrendering possession while simultaneously keeping them fully informed about the potential consequences of contested possession proceedings.

These actions have borne the best possible outcomes for our clients throughout each of the lockdowns – and continue to do so.

To conclude…

At CG&Co, we fully intend to continue adopting the most highly proactive approach possible regardless of when the ban on evictions ends.

It remains essential for default cases to be as far advanced as possible to ensure that evictions can be enforced as soon as the enforcement ban is lifted.

We remain determined that those lenders we work for will consistently be able to use their own funds to relend at rates that are most advantageous to them.

At CG&Co, we will never pull any punches on behalf of our clients – we recognise that they simply have too much at stake.