Charging orders are one of the most confusing clauses out there that debtors regularly have to contend with.

To make matters simpler for you and to answer your questions, I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on debt and how it relates to putting a charge on a property.

Make sure you go through this guide carefully. Let’s get right into it.

What is a Charging Order?

At its simplest, a charging order is a document that converts your unsecured loan into a secured one.

A charging order basically comes with a document called a “charge document”. The order secures an outstanding loan of yours with a property you own, most commonly your home/house.

This means that your house is now used as collateral towards your loan. In the event that you’re unable to pay your lender the money back, you could run the risk of losing your property.

Alternatively, if your lender gives you a charge document and succeeds in putting a charge on your property and you sell your property before your debt is properly paid off, the loan will be paid off using proceeds from the sold property.

As you can probably infer, this isn’t a favourable situation for an individual who is already dealing with repayments. The best advice I can offer you in this regard is to check properly if your lender can put a charge on your property and whether someone can dispute it.

A charging order secures a debt you have with a creditor against your property. This means if you sell or remortgage your home before the debt is cleared the charging order will be paid off from the proceeds.

The charge will apply to you as a borrower only if you’ve faced court action in England or Wales. Your land/property will be made collateral for your loans.

You don’t have to worry too much if charges have been put on your land, commonly referred to as a “land charge”. You can find a ton of free advice online and can find many websites that take you on as clients and even give you in-person advice.

Moreover, it can be in your favour to get proper advice on your situation from an authority on the matter. I suggest that you consult an advice company that is authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority.

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Are My Creditors Allowed to Get a Charging Order?

If you’re worried about your lender randomly deciding to get a charging order against you, don’t worry, this won’t be the case.

There are specific conditions attached with the charge document for both lenders and for you as a borrower.

Your solicitors will only be able to get a charging order if they have a County Court judgment against you. I strongly recommend that you get proper legal advice about your situation and legal advice about the money associated with the charge.

If they do, the situation certainly is not in your favour. A charging order can be rather destructive depending on your circumstances, such as when applied to mortgages.

Types of Charging Orders

A charging order can be of more than a single type. These charges do come in different shapes and sizes. Let’s discuss them one by one.

Interim Charging Order

An interim charging order is the first step of the charge process.

First, your creditor informs the court that you either fully or partially own your house/property. 

If they manage to prove that in court, and if your creditors are eligible to put a charge on your property, the court will issue an interim charging order towards you.

What’s interesting to note, is that an interim order on your home is generally issued without a court hearing, and once a lender can prove the charge.

Here’s how this goes: if you choose to do nothing about the interim order, you’ll be issued a final order 28 days later, that you may have to spend time and money on to deal with.

You should write to your solicitor and the court within twenty one days of first receiving the interim order.

Final Charging Order

If you choose to do nothing about the interim order, you’ll be issued a final charge that will solidify the status of your property as one with a charge on it.

You’ll be duly informed by the court once you’re issued a final charge at the request of your solicitor.

Can Creditors See a Charge on My Profile?

putting a charge on property

Lots of people are unsure about whether things such as a deposit, a sale deed, release deed, or a payment article show up on their credit profiles.

Similarly, many people are also unsure of whether a charge shows up on their profile or not. 

Here’s the simple answer: A charge does not show up in your credit file, but a CCJ does. So the charge itself won’t show up on your profile, but any CCJs you’ve gotten will.

However, even if creditors can’t see it on your profile, that doesn’t mean it won’t impact your borrowing credibility.

Lenders, particularly with larger loans, tend to be very picky with who they lend to. If they see a CCJ on your profile, they’ll be tempted to search and dig around a bit to see if other creditors have ever applied to get a charge on a property of yours before.

All in all, while they can’t see in on your credit file, there are plenty of other ways of knowing that it’s there.

FAQs

How long does a charging order last?

A charge on your property stays listed in the Land Register until you apply to have it removed. You may have to fill a couple of forms here and there. 

In Scotland, however, a charge automatically expires, regardless of the terms of use, after a period of 12 years.

What is an order for sale?

An order for sale is an enforcement of a charge, simply speaking. In terms of use, it is basically a court notification that enforces the sale of a debtor’s property if the property has a charge on it.

These are very rare though, and not enforced usually.

When can a charging order be issued?

A charge can be issued if your solicitor has a CCJ against you. If your solicitor does, they can apply to get a charge on your property.

Otherwise, they can’t apply for a charge.

Does a charge show up on my credit profile?

No, a charge usually does not show up on your credit profile but the CCJ associated with the charge, whether it’s about repayments or something else, will.

Should I convince my creditor not to put a charge on my property?

You can attempt to do so, of course, particularly as it relates to the land registry and the charge itself.

However, convincing someone else may not always work, especially in matters relating to money and the land registry.

Your creditors will only be willing to accept your request for the land registry if you show them that you’re able to pay them back without them having to put a charge on your property as it relates to the land registry.

Wrapping it Up

This guide was intended to discuss charges, and how they relate to a leasehold property, when they apply to your home, what a person can do about them, whether solicitors can search your orders up, and how you can use your resources to deal with these charges.

All in all, I hope this guide helped you gain a clear understanding of the issue.

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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