(2) for what reasons HM Courts Service automatically disposes of all court records of suspended possession orders after six years of inactivity.
There were 866 cases which involved a warrant of possession being issued in 2008 and which followed the original suspended mortgage possession order being made three to five years previously. There were also 103 cases which involved a warrant of possession being issued in 2008 and which followed the original suspended mortgage possession order being made 6-10 years previously.
The Ministry of Justice does not currently hold statistical information relating to lags between suspended mortgage possession orders made and warrants of possession issues of more than 10 years.
These figures do not indicate the number of homes actually being repossessed. Issuing a warrant of possession does not necessarily result in repossession.
HM Courts Service automatically disposes of all possession action files including those involving suspended possession orders after three years’ inactivity. Electronic records specifying the incidence and associated dates of suspended possession orders are still available for orders made within the last 10 years. However, record retention and disposition policies do not affect the enforcement of suspended possession orders. It is the duty of claimants to supply the order documents when applying for a warrant of possession to be issued.
Record retention and disposition policies fall within the remit of the Departmental Records Officer and Head of Record Information and Management Services for the Ministry of Justice. Retention periods are determined by (a) any legislative requirement and (b) the business need of the area to which the schedule relates. No special provisions are made for the retention and disposal of records involving suspended possession orders.