So we’re just outside the Dublin Circuit court.
Now often as you approach the security gates there may be camera crew or journalists outside.
and they are here for the high profile high court cases and you don’t need to be concerned
about them. You will have to pass through a security hut
but that may not be the case outside of Dublin.
When you arrive at the courthouse it’s the countys registrar’s court that you’re
looking for. Often that will be sign posted.
If it is not just ask a staff member and they will be able to show you where to go.
Don’t be alarmed if outside the court is very busy, often the corridors do be..
There will be an Abhaile court advisor from MABS there and they will be able to offer
you support and advice on the day. Just be mindful that there may be many cases
listed before your case in court. So if you are driving to the court make sure
that you have paid for ample parking. You don’t want to run the risk of your case
being called and that you’re not in the court room at the time.
When you arrive in court there may be lots of people around.
When you walk into the courtroom there may be seats towards the back of the courtroom.
But if you can sit towards the front of those seats to be ready for when your name is called.
Sitting at the front of the court at the benches will be the barristers and the solicitors,
and then the court clerk will arrive and they will prepare the files to hand to the county
registrar. The county registrar is the last person to
arrive into the courtroom. And they are the person who hears the cases.
The list will then commence. When your case is called, if you stand up
and let the country registrar know that you are there in court.
I am a duty solicitor on the Abhaile Mortgage Arrears scheme.
My role is to attend at various courts around the country to assist people
who are in mortgage arrears and in many cases people attend court have no solicitors on
record and my role is to assist them before court
and to possibly explain their case to the county registrar when your case is called.
Another aspect of the Abhaile scheme is that vouchers are available to see a solicitor
for a consultation. There are various solicitors around the country
who are on the Abhaile panel who will meet with you to discuss your case,
discuss any issues or concerns that you might have
and can talk to you about insolvency, bankruptcy, mortgage to rent or personal solvency arrangements.
Once you meet with the solicitor in their office
you will receive a letter of advice from the solicitor advising you on your best course
of action. It is important to point out that this can
be done at any stage even if a repossession order has been made.
This advice is provided free through the Abhaile scheme.
Based on our experience when people receive a notification that they have to go to court
and the bank is looking for a possession order on their house, there can be two reactions.
One is that it is too late, there is nothing that can be done, things have gone beyond
them and secondly, there can also be a view that
if they go to court, on that day that they will actually have to hand the keys
back and the house will be taken off them on that day.
Both of those are absolutely not the case, most definitely.
In the first case people should always go to the court and make their case and give themselves the best chance in front
of the registrar and the case is usually adjourned anyway
at the very first sitting so people don’t have to fear that on their very first
court appearance that their house will be taken back from them.
So when you receive notification that you have to attend court there usually will be
a timeframe before that date comes up and we would strongly
encourage you, if you haven’t already engaged with your
lender, to do so now. But also to avail of the supports that are
available to you in the terms of free legal advice and financial
advice under the Abhaile scheme during that period
as well. This will help you very much when your case
does come before the county registrar and you are able to show the registrar that
you are engaging with your bank and also that you are availing
of the professional support thats out there for you, free of charge under the Abhaile
scheme. So just some tips for you on the day of your
actual court. Try and be early to the court because this will give you a chance to find
the Abhaile court advisor on the day and also perhaps the duty solicitor
and talk to them before the court commences. What’s even better is, if you have the opportunity
to attend the court at an earlier sitting on a day that your case isn’t listed,
it may take some of the fear out of it on the day because on the day that you are in
court it is natural to be nervous and to feel intimidated
by the process. So if you are able to go to a previous court
sitting where your case isn’t listed and just sit in and get a feel for what happens,
it should make it easier for you on the day of your own hearing.
The next tip would be around parking. Some people think that they will be in and out
of court. The case list can be quite long and it is
hard to know how long you will be in the court for
and the last thing you want to do is to have left the court room to top up a parking meter
and get a parking ticket and meanwhile your case has been called in
your absence. No matter what stage it’s at, if it’s a
first hearing, if an order has been granted it is never too
late to seek professional advice, legal advice or financial advice
under the Abhaile scheme which is free of charge.
And resolutions in our experience have been obtained from many people in those situations.
So it is never too late to engage with the lender or to engage with a professional for
legal or financial advice.