HALIFAX-(D L & C) Our Est Liability request irrelevent?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

Been paying Direct Legal & Collections 15.00 per month for 3 years, joined the home-repo page and after they refused a full & final settlement amount of 2,000 on 12,220.13 and refused my 15.00 per month (because I was paying other debtors a lot more money than them), I have stopped all payments.

I wrote to Direct Legal & Collections recently asking them to break down all the expenses charged to us in the completion statement from the Halifax. I asked to see original invoices paid by the Society for everything from Estate Agents fees to Maintenance on the Property repossessed. They wrote back to me yesterday saying:

Thank you for your recent letter.

Queries concering the calculation of the estimated liability are irrelevent in that the loss has now been quantified and is as shown in the completion statement that you have. Our clients have, however indicated that they are sill willing to negotiate based on the estimated figure.

Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee insurance, also known as additional mortgage security is not a personal insurance and provides no benefit to the borrower.

The insurance company, under their rights of subrogation, are at liberty to seek to recover their loss from the borrower. Recovery action is being undertaken on a joint basis between the Society and the indemnity insurers.

As a matter of standard practice our Clients arrange for any repossessed property to be valued by a fully qualified surveyor. In addition they obtain a valuation report from an estate agent with experience in the locality. Our Clients are satisfied they achieved the best price reasonably obtainable in the prevailing market conditions.

The interest shown in the completion statement would have been for the contractual rate of interest up to the date of sale although our Clients are entitled to continue to charge interest until the debt is paid.

With regard to your queries relating to the costs detailed in the completion statement, our Clients are satisfied that all charges incurred in obtaining possession of the property and its subsequent sale are realistic and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the mortgage. Our Clients are not obliged to, nor will they, provide invoices or bills unless they have proposals for the immediate repayment of the amount due.

As you are aware, the last offer submitted by your solicitors was declined by our Client as being too low. They also raised the point that you were paying other creditors porportionately more than you were paying to this debt, a point that we raised in 1998 when you refused to increase your payments.

Our Clients are sill willing to negotiate a reduced settlement and we look forward to receiving your amended proposals.

Yours sincerely

MR R BRUCE COLLECTIONS EXECUTIVE

Please help somebody, at the end of the day DL&C are not going to give any of the information we have requested because the figure they came to has been done & dusted and the request is totally irrelevent, apparently. Where do I go now?

-- Kate Gallacher (abbey@flowersdirectsw.sagehost.co.uk), November 28, 2000

Answers

Hi Kate,

I am very interested in the aspect of your case regarding the "Estimated Liability". I suggest that you read my earlier postings to this Q&A forum: "The HALIFAX "Estimated Shortfall" Letter - A Guide." and "The HALIFAX - Do you believe you have been deceived?". If you also received an "Estimated Claim" letter and believe that you were decieved by it then I would be very grateful for the information and maybe a scanned copy of the letter.

Following a formal complaint to the Office of Fair Trading on the use of this "Estimated" letter by the Halifax, I am currently building up a file of shortfall victims that believe they were deceived by the letter into admitting liability for an "Estimated" claim. The OFT have requested this as they have explained that they cannot take action where only one individual believes they were affected. Please feel free to email me privately if you would prefer to Kate.

Incidentally in my case with the Halifax their "Estimated" claim turned out to be over 50% out when they finally "crystallized" the still alleged debt!

-- Tony Hayter (Tony@Hayter.com), November 28, 2000.


Hello

First of all, please don't panic. Solicitors are paid to make people fearful and think that they have no rights, but you do have rights and there are things that you can do. Always remember, that only a Court can order you to do something.

When you write back, say that you're not willing to enter into any negotiations until you have proof that the insurer does have a right to pursue you. If that right is written within the MIG then you wish to see it. Say that you have no intention of paying anything further until you are sure that you are liable to the insurance company. That the solicitor says so is not sufficient.

Their clients may be satisfied, that they achieved the best price, but you're not! Do you have any valuations that you can rely on? If possible, speak to an agent in the area and find out how much properties in your street were worth at the time.

Just because the Halifax is satisified with the figures in the cost of repossession, doesn't mean that you have to be! Under the Civil Procedure Rules, when making their claim, the claimant has to provide details of the debt, how it was incurred and how the figures are made up and provide backup evidence of this. Halifax will have to do that if they decide to pursue you in court. Say, that as the person who may be liable for the shortfall, you are entitled to make sure that the figures provided are reasonable and as such you want to see invoices etc for all amounts claimed. Very importantly, ask to see clear and legible photocopies - if the copies are poor, it will be difficult to see if any doctoring has taken place.

You can also say that if the lender isn't willing to provide documentation supporting their alleged claim, then you are quite happy to wait until you receive proceedings issued through the Court to get this information. The Civil Procedure Rules set out how someone must make a claim. They have to show that they are entitled to the money being asked for.

For an example, if British Gas sent you a 'bill' saying, pay us 200 - you wouldn't pay it, would you? You'd want to see the meter readings they had, along with the charges and basically a breakdown of how they arrive at their figure. The same applies with this - you have a right to question how the lender arrived at their figure.

If the situation gets to a stalemate and you're saying you won't do anything without written proof and the lender won't provide any, then you can write a "final" letter stating that until they issue proceedings you are not going to correspond with them any further.

Hope this helps

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), November 28, 2000.


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