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Sick and elderly face pre-Christmas eviction as court backs lenders

Sick and elderly face pre-Christmas eviction as court backs lenders

Hundreds who took ‘sale-and-rent-back’ deals face repossession despite judge in test case saying they may be victims of fraud.

The Guardian reports: Hundreds of people, including many who are elderly and in poor health, face being kicked out of their homes in the runup to Christmas after losing a test case – despite the judge saying they may have been the innocent victims of fraud.

Among those affected is a woman who cares for her ill husband and disabled brother-in-law. She has already been given an eviction date of 19 November, when bailiffs will remove her from the property in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Also facing eviction is Noel Bell, who will turn 77 on Christmas Day, and is hoping he won’t be spending the festive period searching for somewhere to live.

He had been expecting to see out his days in the flat where he has lived for 27 years, but may be forced to move out because state-owned lender Mortgage Express is now legally entitled to take possession of the property.

All the tenants affected found themselves in this situation after being persuaded several years ago to sell their homes to companies that promised they could continue living in them. Many were in dire financial straits at the time and were told that in return for selling their houses at knockdown prices they would enjoy a discounted rent for life as well as other potential benefits.

But a judge at the supreme court, which has just ruled on the case, said the former owners “may have been … the victims of a fraud which tricked them out of their homes” and added that criminal charges were pending.