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Arrears and possessions in the UK mortgage market


21 June 2016

Time: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Venue: KPMG, Leeds
Price: £385 members
£385 associates
£505 non-members
Arrears and possessions in the UK mortgage market

About this event

The arrears and possessions area of the UK mortgage market has undergone many changes over the last year, and the next 12 months will see further developments across the sector. With heightened attention on best practice when handling arrears cases, it is important that lenders have the most up-to-date information about the latest legal developments and how to ensure the best possible outcomes for customers. This one-day conference provided an opportunity to hear from a variety of lenders and other stakeholders, as well as discuss the most pertinent issues with industry peers.

Key points from the event

An improving picture in the arrears and possessions space, as:

  • the number of arrears cases have been falling since 2009
  • there have been fewer arrears cases worsening
  • the number of possession cases falling
  • there have been fewer properties being sold on at a loss to the lender

Looking ahead, there is some cause for optimism, as:

  • the number of people who are unemployed continues to fall
  • prospects for interest rate rises remain distant
  • inflation remains low and wages grow in real terms
  • people in work become more optimistic


0900 - 0930


Registration and refreshments

0930 – 0940


Chair's welcome and introduction
Nina White, Head of Collections and Recoveries, TSB Bank Plc

0940 – 1010


CML updates

(0940 – 0955)


Policy work
Tom Papworth, Senior Policy Adviser, Council of Mortgage Lenders

(0955 – 1010)   What the data tells us

Mohammad Jamei, Economist, Council of Mortgage Lenders

1010 – 1040  

Welfare reform: SMI changes
Tim Roscamp, Policy Officer, Department for Work and Pensions

  • What will changes to the waiting period mean for borrowers and lenders?
  • How will the benefit-to-loan switch work?
  • What operational issues do lenders need to be aware of?
1040 – 1100  


1100 –1130  

Update from the Association of Her Majesty’s District Judges
District Judge Marshall Phillips, Junior Vice President, Association of Her Majesty’s District Judges  

  • How does possession protocol now work?
  • Issues the courts see frequently
  • Perspectives on lender, agent and court representative process
1130 – 1150  

Legal update (England & Wales)
Jonathan Preston, Principal Solicitor - Litigation and Recoveries, Optima Legal  

(1150 – 1155)  

(Movement time)

 1155 – 1230  

Breakout sessions

Legal update from Scotland

Rob Aberdein, Partner, Aberdein Considine


Legal update from Northern Ireland
Cathal Doran, Associate, Northern Ireland, Arthur Cox

1230 – 1330  


1330 – 1400  

Pre-arrears handling
Simon Walker, Partner, KPMG                                          

  • What can lenders do to help manage potential issues associated with at-risk borrowers?
  • What does good practice and a good communication strategy look like?
  • Ensuring the best possible outcomes for both consumer and lender
1400 – 1450  

Vulnerable customers

(1400 – 1420)  

Joanna Elson OBE CDir, Chief Executive, Money Advice Trust

  • Lessons learned from the money advice sector
  • Vulnerability taskforce
(1420 – 1450)  

Panel discussion

Panellists include:
Tom Papworth, Senior Policy Adviser, Council of Mortgage Lenders
Peter Tutton, Head of Policy, StepChange 
Julian Wintle, Partner,TLT 

1450 – 1520  


1520 – 1620  

What happens post-possession order?

(1520 – 1540)  

The bailiff perspective
Gary Bovan, Director of Client Care,High Court Enforcement Group Ltd

  • Reduce Possession delays
  • Understanding the process
  • Where it all goes wrong
(1540 – 1600)  

Property sale and auctions
Sebastian Caunter, Operations Manager, LSL Corporate Client Services

  • Overview of the sales process to include ( Agent selection, valuation and presenting the property for market)
  • Selecting the most appropriate marketing strategy
  • Achieving the best price in the most appropriate timescales with the lowest costs.  
(1600 – 1620)  

Post-sale reconciliation
Michael Walsh, Barrister, Tanfield Chambers 

  • How often is there money outstanding between lender and borrower?
  • What happens if the borrower cannot be found?
  • What are the insurance implications?
1620 – 1630  

Chair's closing remarks


Conference close




Chair: Nina White

Head of Collections and Recoveries, TSB Bank Plc

Nina White is Head of Collections and Recoveries across Retail and Commercial banking covering Secured and Unsecured Products for TSB. She is accountable for the Operational Service for arrears and pre arrears, and supports customers who are facing financial vulnerability. Working closely with Credit Risk, her team is responsible for developing and implementing operational Collections and Recoveries strategies. Managing the central framework and understanding the risks within her business area are critical to the delivery for achieving the right outcomes for all customers within C&R.

Rob Aberdein

Partner, Aberdein Considine

Rob Aberdein is the Partner in Charge of the firm’s Lender Services Practice Group.

He has spent his whole career specialising in debt and asset recovery. He is recognised by both clients and legal guides as one of the leading experts in debt and asset recovery in Scotland.

Rob sits on The Scottish Law Society’s Accreditation Panel for the Debt and Asset Recovery Specialist Accreditation and regularly works with The Scottish Government and CML on legislative and policy matters.

He is top rated and recommended in The Legal 500 and Chambers for Debt Recovery.

Gary Bovan

Director of Client Care, High Court Enforcement Group Ltd

Gary Bovan profile

Gary is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer, working within the largest independently owned enforcement company in England and Wales. He entered the industry in 1986 and has specialised in residential evictions, gaining a great respect within this field with his practical approach to enforcement. Gary and his team enforce Writs of possessions on a daily basis and he is at the cutting edge of enforcement.He has also been at the heart of the new application of the CPR rules on residential evictions through the High Court.


Sebastian Caunter

Operations Manager, LSL Corporate Client Services

Seb Caunter profile shot

Sebastian Caunter joined LSL in 2009 after 8 years in Estate Agency. He oversees all operational activities within both the sales and lettings division of LSL Corporate Client Services. He advises Lenders on all aspects of property management and disposal and has played a leading role in the development of specialist activities such as Assisted Voluntary Sales. 

Cathal Doran

Associate, Northern Ireland, Arthur Cox

Cathal Doran profile

Cathal is a fifth year associate in the Belfast Dispute Resolution practice specialising  in Banking and Commercial Litigation.  Cathal deals with all types of disputes including constructive trusts, contractual disputes and professional negligence. He also has extensive experience of banking litigation, acting for a number of banks in respect of repossession actions and the enforcement of guarantees.

Joanna Elson OBE CDir

Chief Executive, Money Advice Trust

Joanna Elson profileJoanna is Chief Executive of the Money Advice Trust, whose vision is to help people across the UK tackle their debts and manage their money more wisely. The Trust helps over one million people a year manage their debts via National Debtline and Business Debtine, and via its training services branded Wiseradviser.

Previously, Joanna was Executive Director at the British Bankers’ Association running their policy department for personal and small business customers. Before that she was a House of Commons researcher and prior to that a primary school teacher.

In 2010, Joanna was awarded an OBE for services to people in debt.

Joanna is a member of the advisory panel of the Commission for Financial Inclusion, the ABCUL/Lloyds Banking Group Grants Committee, H M Treasury’s Home Finance Forum, the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board Advisory Panel, the British Bankers’ Association’s Consumer Panel, the Advisory Panel at Birmingham University's Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management and the chair of the BBA’s Financial Services Vulnerability Taskforce. She is also a trustee and director of the Friends Provident Foundation and a school governor and a Chartered Director.

Mohammad Jamei

Economist, Council of Mortgage Lenders

Mohammad Jamei began working as an economist at the CML in 2014, Mo is responsible for the production of the CML’s published statistics on arrears and possessions and co-writing market commentary.

Prior to this, he worked for the civil service working on the housing market.


Tom Papworth

Senior Policy Adviser , CML

Tom Papworth joined the Council of Mortgage Lenders in 2016 having previously worked in government, trade associations and think tanks. He is the Senior Policy Adviser responsible for buy-to-let and arrears & possessions. Tom holds degrees from the Royal Holloway (University of London), the University of Kent (Canterbury) and King’s College (London). 



District Judge Marshall Phillips

Junior Vice President, Association of Her Majesty’s District Judges

District Judge Phillips profileDistrict Judge Marshall Phillips was appointed as a District Judge during 2005, and sits at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre, where  he is the Regional Costs Judge and where he has responsibility for case managing clinical negligence cases in addition to undertaking the wide range of work undertaken by the District Bench.

Prior to his appointment, he was a solicitor in private practice, and a partner in a 12 partner firm of solicitors where he was  Head of the Personal Injury Department. He had been the firm’s Managing Partner for some 6 years and at the date of his appointment was the firm’s Vice Chairman.

In addition to his Judicial role, District Judge Phillips became during March 2016  the Junior Vice President of The Association of Her Majesty’s District Judges, having previously been  the Wales Circuit Representative representing the District Bench in Wales on the Association’s National Committee  . In addition he chairs the Associations’ Civil and Wales Committees and is a member of the Civil Judicial Engagement Group chaired by Briggs LJ  dealing with HMCTS Reform.

District Judge Phillips is also a member of the Civil Tutor Team with the JudicialCollege, and assists in the training of the full and part time judiciary.

Jonathan Preston

Principal Solicitor - Litigation and Recoveries, Optima Legal

Jonathan joined Optima Legal as Head of its Complex Litigation Team, before taking up his current role, Principal solicitor of Optima's Litigation and Recoveries division.

Jonathan qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and practised General Commercial and Property Litigation at Irwin Mitchell before moving to Optima. Jonathan has also been a member of the Civil User's Committee of the County Court and High Court District Registry for a number of years, an important interface with the judiciary that covers various matters such as important changes to legislation, Court procedures and working practices.

As Principal of the Litigation division, Jonathan oversees the provision of sound legal and regulatory advice and service provided by the departments which make up Optima's Litigation and Recoveries division.

Jonathan is keen to adapt to legal practice changes which are demanded by the reform of the market, taking a proactive approach in responding to legal, procedural, regulatory, technological and competitive advances.

Independent of his professional work for Optima, Jonathan is a Deputy District Judge, sitting in the Courts of the North Eastern Circuit.

Tim Roscamp

Department for Work & Pensions

Tim Roscamp has been a civil servant in the Department for Work and Pensions (and predecessor departments) for 29 years. He worked in benefit delivery in local offices and on a variety of policies in the corporate centre. Has also led support for mortgage (SMI) interest policy since 2008. 

Peter Tutton

Head of Policy, StepChange

Peter has been head of policy at StepChange Debt Charity since 2012, where he has built up the charity’s public advocacy role. Previously Peter worked in the policy team at Citizens Advice and was responsible for work on debt including mortgage arrears and related issues. Peter has also been a front line debt adviser and manager of a debt advice charity.

Simon Walker

Partner, KPMG

Simon Walker profile

Simon has over 20 years experience as a partner leading regulatory and risk assignments.  His area of expertise is retail financial service, working with banks and intermediaries.

Michael Walsh

Barrister, Tanfield Chambers

Michael Walsh is a barrister at Tanfield Chambers. His practice encompasses all aspects of the law of property, with a particular emphasis on development and mortgages.  He continues to act for some of the UK's largest lenders in claims involving undue influence, mortgage fraud, priority of interests and subrogation.

Michael is the co-editor of the 9th edition of Megarry’s Manual of the Law of Real Property and is also a visiting lecturer in the law of property at King’s College London

Julian Wintle

Partner, TLT Solicitors

Julian Wintle 200x200Julian Wintle is a Partner at TLT and oversees the Mortgage Enforcement and Lender Sales teams.  He advises lenders and receivers and has supported mortgage industry representatives in the development of various recovery policies.  A number of client secondments provide him with a valuable understanding of issues from a client perspective.

Headline sponsor


KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We have over 174,000 outstanding professionals working together to deliver value in 155 countries. Our industry focus helps KPMG firms’ professionals develop a rich understanding of clients' businesses and the insight, skills and resources required to address industry-specific issues and opportunities. KPMG has a market leading mortgage practice – providing multi-disciplinary services to a range of clients; from regulatory services, management consulting, IT implementation and customer experience appraisals.


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