The HALIFAX - An Updategreenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread
As a regular contributor to this site I am aware of those readers who have been following my mortgage shortfall case with the Halifax with interest, I therefore thought I would give a brief overview/update of my case.
Well, between September and December 1999 I spent a fortune with solicitors trying to get my ex to agree to sell the property as I had not lived there for six years and there were no dependant children. She played for time and then "did a runner" to an "address unknown" leaving the property dirty and full of rubbish. I had no keys so I could not get in to sort this state out. I could not sell without her signature and the Halifax would not allow a voluntary repossession when I requested it, as they could not obtain her signature! So I suggested to the Halifax that they carry out a normal repossession. To state it was normal is wildly wrong because the Halifax ignored my statutory rights and I also believe conducted the whole process with a lack of due care.
The Halifax then valued my property. Located in a Cul-De-Sac in Poole, it is a 4 bed, 2 reception, semi-detached house with attached large garage. They gave it a value of only B#75,000! This, despite smaller 3 bed terraced properties without garages in adjacent streets selling for nearly B#17,000 more! Even though the Halifax under-marketed it and had the arrogance to sell it in a dirty state with over 16 cubic yards of rubbish in it, an offer of B#84,000 was received. That might sound good at first but I believe the property could have fetched a price of over B#100,000 with the correct marketing and I would not have been left with an alleged shortfall. The Halifax was required under the Mortgage Code to obtain at least two valuations. Their own qualified surveyor who correctly identified the property as a 4 bed, 2 reception Semi Detached house, carried one out. The other was done by Fox & Sons estate agents (Part of the Royal and Sun Alliance group). Their valuation was immediately suspicious to me because it was hand-written and had exactly the same figure for valuation. I believe that this may have been supplied in a hurry after my request for at least two valuations to be supplied to me. Why do I think this? Because they described the property as a 3 bed, 2 reception, End Terraced house! The Halifax had valued the contents at B#50 (As there was 16 Cubic yards of it, that value in itself proves it was only unwanted rubbish). What value did Fox & Sons give this rubbish? B#75,000 !! I wonder if the Estate Agents even visited the property?
The valuation in my opinion (and I would imagine in most sensible opinions) was deliberately way down on what it should have been. Why? To get a quick sale - I know that's how it works. See my earlier posting titled: "Repossessed Property Sales Scandal - Proof of how it works!" for a fuller description. It is interesting also to note that the courts will usually only investigate the question of whether a valuation is negligent if there is more than a 10% discrepancy between valuation and sale price. The Halifax has addressed the whole issue of the under-valuation and under-marketing of the property in my view with utter arrogance!
The Halifax's own CEO will not even address the issue of this question of the property being sold in a dreadful state. In fact in my last letter I had asked him formally to stop avoiding my questions on this. What did I get in return? A standard "letter of deadlock" from their PR department in which they suggested I refer my case to the Banking Ombudsman. Well my thoughts on the Ombudsman scheme are evident from my recent posting: "The Ombudsmen - Human Rights Act and Tribunals". Having now been kindly supplied with research material as to which banking employees are also employed by the Ombudsman's company and after having received documents from Companies House I am now convinced that I will not be availing myself of their "impartial" services.
I am convinced that the Halifax has treated me extremely unfairly and I hope that all the potential homebuyers finding this site via searches, links or from the press will take note of my views. I believe I have suffered half-truths, untruths and lies and I feel now that the only way to proceed is by my case being heard before a fair and impartial civil hearing within a reasonable time. This right is given to me under article 6 of the Human Rights Act. The Halifax may believe that it is in their own best interests to wait until they see fit to commence (alleged) debt recovery. Well I believe the clock has now started ticking on the "reasonable time" and I would suggest to the Halifax that if, as their CEO states, they believe they have acted correctly then prove it! The Halifax should now take my case to the courts for it to be judged there.
-- Tony Hayter (Tony@Hayter.com), November 14, 2000
It seems that the Halifax was the Learning Organisation Award Winner for 1999 (Awarded by Management Today).
Interestingly the Halifax stated that; "Dissatisfied customers are now surveyed on how well their complaint was handled and the results are used to improve customer processes."
Should I be expecting a survey form to drop through my letterbox any day now?
I can't seem to find the Halifax mentioned in the "Britain's Most Admired Company - Top 100" listing for 1999 on the same site:
-- Tony Hayter (Tony@Hayter.com), November 15, 2000.
Interesting to see such clear evidence of the under-valuing of repossessed properties. The subsequent under-marketing is then a double whammy.
-- Eleanor Scott (email@example.com), November 16, 2000.