On 1 January 2007, new practice directions came into force relating to the
information to be provided in particulars of claim on issue of a claim for
possession of land for arrears or rent or mortgage.

This brief advises you of the change and how it will affect you.

Q. What is the change?
A. Under paragraph 6.3 of Practice Direction 55B of the Civil procedure Rules you
are required to include in particulars of claim a history of payments made on the rent
or mortgage account, and a full history of arrears. This will no longer be required
provided that you comply with the requirements of paragraph 6.3A and 6.3B (the new
practice directions).

Q. How will this help me?
A. The new practice directions will reduce the amount of information you need to
include in your particulars of claims to a maximum of five lines of data. This should
make it easier for you to use the Possession Claim On Line (PCOL) system to issue
your possession claims by reducing the amount of data required to be input by you or
transferred from your system.

Q. What are the requirements of the new practice directions?
A. Paragraph 6.3A says the claimant must, in advance of issuing their claim, provide
the defendant with-

              •     The information required by MCOB 13.4.1 and MCOB 13.4.4 of the
                    Mortgages: Conduct of Business Rules issued by the Financial
                    Services Authority; or
              •     In schedule form, the dates and amounts of all payments due and
                    payments made under the tenancy agreement for a period of two
                    years immediately preceding the date of issue, or if the first date of
                    default occurred less than two years before the date of issue, from the
                    first date of default and a running total of the arrears.

Q. How is this information to be provided?
Paragraph 6.3C says where the particulars of claim include a summary only of the
arrears the claimant must-

          •       Serve on the defendant not more than 7 days after the date of issue, a
                  full arrears history containing at least the information required by
                  paragraph 6.3; and

          •       Either-
                     (a) make a witness statement confirming that he has complied with
                     paragraph 6.3A as appropriate, and including or exhibiting the full
                     arrears history; or
                     (b) verify by way of oral evidence at the hearing that he has complied
                     with paragraph 6.3A as appropriate and also produce and verify the
                     full arrears history.
Part 55B PD Customer Q&A February 2007

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(Rule 55.8(4) requires all witness statements to be filed and served at least 2 days
before the hearing.)

Q. What information should then be provided in the particulars of claim?
A. The claimant may, in place of the information normally required by paragraph 6.3,
include in his particulars of claim a summary only of the arrears containing at least
the following information-

             •   The amount of arrears as stated in the notice of seeking possession
                 served under either section 83 of the Housing Act 1985 or section 8 of
                 the Housing Act 1988, or at the date of the claimant’s letter before
                 action, as appropriate;

             •   The dates and amounts of the last three payments in cleared funds
                 made by the defendant or, if less than three payments have been
                 made, the dates and amounts of all payments made;

             •   The arrears at the date of issue, assuming that no further payments
                 are made by the defendant.

Q. How do I input the data required by the new practice directions into PCOL?
A. A summary of the arrears must be input as 5 separate lines of data at step 6 of 8
(Submit Claim – Payment History) as follows:

 Field                              Data to be input
 Date Payment due                   1st 2nd, 3rd, – dates last three (or less) payments
                                    made in cleared funds under the mortgage or rental
                                    4th – date of notice or pre-claim letter
                                    5th date claim issued
 Amount                             1st, 2nd, and 3rd - always ‘0.00’
                                    4th – Amount stated on notice or pre-claim letter
                                    5th - Total amount due on date claim issued
 Amount paid                        1st, 2nd, 3rd – Amounts of payment made
                                    4th and 5th always ‘0.00’
 Amount of accrued arrears          1st, 2nd, 3rd – Always input ‘0.00’
                                    4th – Amount stated on the notice or pre-claim letter
                                    5th – Total amount due on date of issue

This is important as the total of arrears accrued shown in the fifth and last entry is the
figure that will be reproduced in the particulars of claim as the amount outstanding.
All the data input will be reproduced on a schedule sent to the defendant in the claim

Q. Where can I find out more about PCOL?
A. The PCOL web site can be found at
This contains a detailed user guide.

The HMCS website at contains information about
setting up a system-to-system transfer between your own IT system and PCOL.

Part 55B PD Customer Q&A February 2007

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