Best way to proceed for Joint Tenantsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread
My ex partner and I had a joint mortgage on a property which was repossessed in 1997. We separated shortly after the repossession. Several months ago my ex received an initial shortfall demand at his home address. I have since received a similar demand addressed to my place of work.
We have decided to follow the advice on this website and resist the solicitors threats by challenging every step. Does anyone have any experience of the best way to proceed by joint mortgagees who have since separated? We are unsure whether to present a united front and deal with correpondece together, or whether we are likely to reach a lower final settlement figure if we maintain separate dealings?
-- Lucy Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 26, 2000
If one party didn't pass the interest in the property to the other when you split up, then you are both liable for any shortfall.
You would be best dealing with this as a united front. I do know of an case where the lender received a small amount in "full and final settlement" from one party, and then went on to chase the other party for the full amount - neither of the victims knew what was going on.
Lucy you should write to the lender and ask them to refrain from sending letters to your place of work. Ask them to send all correspondence concerning the shortfall to either your address or your ex-partners.
-- pendle (email@example.com), September 26, 2000.
********** SOME ADVICE THAT I HOPE WILL HELP ***********
When you say you are going to resist the solicitors threats by challenging every step it will help to itemise each step. When you ask a question make sure that it is composed so that they have to give an answer. i.e.
THIS QUESTION IS OK:
1. Please itemise all positive selling points that were written on the sales particulars prior to the sale of the property.
THIS QUESTION IS NOT OK:
1. Please inform me if the property was sold correctly.
It will certainly help if you keep each question separate and give each a number. You MUST insist and KEEP insisting that they answer fully, each question as numbered. It will then become very apparent which questions they are avoiding answering. Don't worry if you find you end up with a very large number of questions. Under the new CPR (Civil Procedure Rules) for court cases a judge will not treat anyone lightly if they are seen to have avoided disclosing information specifically requested.
They may try to answer a question with the phrase "I fail to see the relevance of this question". Write back to them on this, refer to the question number and state the relevance.
DEMAND the valuations they carried out on the property saying that you cannot possibly proceed without them. You really can't be expected to be able to judge whether they undervalued the property and as a result undermarketed it, without them. If you do get them pay particular attention to the Estate Agents' valuation. It's often not done by a qualified surveyor and as such will sometimes demonstrate a blatant degree of undervaluation and/or negligence.
Keep fighting - I wish you all the best.
-- Lamps (Lamps@Btinternet.com), September 26, 2000.