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What is a calling-up notice?

If you fail to keep up to date with your mortgage payments, your lender can issue you with a calling-up notice. This notice will end your loan agreement and ask you to repay the whole amount of the loan.

What is a calling-up notice (a definition)?

The definition of a calling-up notice is a legal document which ends the mortgage agreement and asks you to repay the whole amount of the loan that is outstanding (the arrears and all the payments you still have to make).

What should a calling-up notice contain?

A calling-up notice should tell you:

  • the sum due at the date of the notice (this will be the whole amount of the loan still due, not just the amount of the arrears)
  • that you have two months to pay the whole amount due (this can be shortened in exceptional cases but not to less than one month)

See what a calling-up notice looks like.

You should be sent the calling-up notice by recorded delivery and a copy of the notice will be sent to any adults living in your home, advising them of their rights. If you have received a copy of the notice because you are an occupier in the home but you are not the borrower, you may have rights if you are a tenant, spouse or partner of the borrower.

You have two months from the date that you are sent the calling-up notice to repay the whole loan.

Section 11 notice

If a lender serves you with a calling-up notice they have to tell your council that they've done this. They will do this by sending the council a section 11 notice, informing them that your lender intends to repossess your property and you could end up being homeless.

When the council receives the notice they may get in touch to offer to help you. Depending on your situation, the council may offer to intervene and try to stop the repossession, or give you advice regarding your housing options if you do become homeless.

What can I do if I have received a calling-up notice?

If you're sent a calling-up notice, one or more of the following options may be available to you. It's best to talk to an adviser to work out which options are possible or most suitable for your situation.

Paying off the loan

If possible, you can pay the whole amount of the loan still due within the two month time limit. Make sure you talk to an adviser before making any decisions.

Negotiating with your lender

If you can't pay off the whole amount of the loan, you may be able to negotiate an arrangement with your lender to repay the arrears and continue with the loan agreement. Even if you do come to an arrangement with your lender, they may take your case to court so that your arrangement can be monitored and, if you miss payments, your home can be repossessed more quickly.

Applying to the mortgage to rent scheme

The mortgage to rent scheme is run by the Scottish Government. The scheme aims to help people, whose homes are at risk of being repossessed, to stay in their homes.

If you apply successfully for the mortgage to rent scheme, your home will be bought by the council or a housing association, but you will continue to live there as a tenant.

If you're not eligible for the mortgage to rent scheme, there may also be a not-for-profit mortgage rescue scheme operating in your area, however, be extremely wary of private companies offering 'sale and rent back' schemes.

Handing in the keys

As a last resort, you could consider handing over the keys of your home to your lender so they can sell the property. This will save you the costs and stress of going to court, but your debt may well increase and it will be more difficult to get a mortgage in the future so think carefully about this option and get advice before making any decisions.

What can I do if I think the calling-up notice is wrong?

You can challenge a calling-up notice in court if you think there is something wrong with it. Calling-up notices can only be challenged on a technical ground, for example if there are no arrears. You will need help from a solicitor to do this.

What happens once the two month time limit is up?

If you have not cleared your arrears or come to a repayment arrangement within two months of receiving the calling-up notice, your lender will have the option to go to court to repossess your property.

Before a lender can apply to the sheriff court they have to complete the pre-action requirements. This means that they must:

  • give you clear information about the terms of your lending agreement; such as the amount that you owe including any arrears
  • must also take reasonable steps to avoid repossession by agreeing with you arrangements for future payments under the lending agreement
  • not take you to court where you are taking reasonable steps to stick to the lending agreement 
  • give you information on how to get advice on managing your debts and persuade you to contact your local authority.

If your lender is planning to go to court, you will be sent an initial writ and a section 24 notice to tell you this.

Your lender cannot sell the property with you in it, so if you do not leave voluntarily, they will have to get an ejection order from the sheriff court, telling you that you have to leave.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
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The important points

  • A calling-up notice is a legal document which ends the mortgage agreement and asks you to repay the whole amount of the loan that is outstanding.
  • You have two months from the date that you are sent the calling-up notice to repay the whole loan.
  • You can challenge a calling-up notice in court if you think there is something wrong with it.
  • If you have not cleared the arrears or come to a repayment arrangement within the two months, your lender will have the option to go to court to repossess your property.

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