Abbey National - Shortfall Harassment

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Please can you HELP!! I am at my wits end with worry! About 7 years ago my husband lost his business, he went bankrupt. We had to stop paying the mortgage, and for 4 years we heard nothing from Abbey. Then out of the blue we received a court summons, we attended court to be faced with the fact Abbey had no paperwork for the repossession of our house. Abbey National's rep even admitted in court that she had no paperwork and was not prepared. When the judge threw this out of court she admitted to us it was an administrative blunder, one part of Abbey thought the other part was dealing with us. She then told us that "Abbey would never come after us and you cannot get blood out of a stone, they only go after people who they think have got money" and told us some stories about people who have tried to pull the wool over Abbey National's eyes. About 4 months later we went back to court, this time they had the necessary paperwork for repossession and they took our house and sold it within 1 month. We had a mortgage for 86.000 and they sold it for 90.000. When I received the final documentation they wanted 28.500 shortfall.

Since then I have had every threat you can imagine, from taking me to court, to bailiffs, to contacting me in work (I do not know how they got my address of where I work)and every debt collection agency harassing me (the most current being DLA Solicitors of Bradford).

Recently, I have received a letter from DLA saying I can pay 50 per month or 4.500 lump sum. So naturally I want this to end, so I said "I cannot afford 50 per month but, I will endeavour to find 20 per month" to pay off the 4.500, so I sent the letter off.

A week later, I received another letter stating that they want 50 per month or a lump sum of 4.500. But they will accept my 20 a month on the understanding that the final amount payable will now be 14.250.

Can someone please tell me how I can go from 28.500 to 4.500 to 14.250? (Can you get blood out of a stone?)

-- Hope Davies (hopedavies@hotmail.com), December 06, 2000

Answers

Sorry to hear about your problems, you're not alone here. I hope that you've had a chance to read through the website for more information.

First of all, get in touch with the person who acted as trustee in bankruptcy. From what I understand, your house should have either been repossessed at the time of bankruptcy, or the Abbey should have submitted their claim as part of the debts. Once all the debts are notified to the trustee, then regardless of whether or not they are paid up, at the end of (usually) 3 years, they are null and void and cannot be chased for. Tell the trustee what has happened and see if they can shed any light upon the problem. From what I understand of bankruptcy, creditors cannot chase any further for the debt in question after discharge. But the trustee should be your first port of call.

The fact that they sold your home for more than the mortgage, is a first - most of the homes are undersold. Write to DLA or whoever is now dealing and state that you are not admitting liability for any shortfall and ask for copies of the completion statements for the property.

Even though the house was sold for more than the mortgage, there could still be case of underselling if the property was worth say 150k and only sold for 90k.

Basically DLA are playing with you. They're trying to see how much they can get away with demanding from you - trying to force you to offer just that little bit more until they get what they want.

Under no circumstances complete an income and expense form, or make any further offers of payment. Write them a letter and ask them for a copy of the completion statement. Thats all you need to say at this stage. Remember, they cannot force you to do anything, just because they say you must fill out their I&E forms, or reply within 7 days, is just to suit them, there is no law that says you must.

Leave it at that for the moment, once you have the completion statement, come back to the board if you wish for more help or you can email me directly.

But do read the website as thoroughly as you can.

Pendle

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), December 06, 2000.


I'm interested in what you say about Abbey's rep claiming that Abbey only go after people with money, and that Abbey feel that people try to pull the wool over their eyes.

The recent Mail on Sunday coverage, and the experiences recounted on this web site, and my own experiences, would appear to show otherwise. Apparently, large numbers of people who are extremely vulnerable, financially and socially, are being pursued for impossibly large sums (even after alleged 'discounts') by lenders including Abbey. One wonders if Abbey expects them to borrow money to pay their alleged 'debts'? Abbey surely can't believe that every person it pursues for shortfall 'debt' is someone 'with money' or who is 'pulling the wool'? So it's certainly an interesting party line that the Abbey rep gave you.

Anyway, good luck, and, like Pendle says, read this web site as thoroughly as you can. There's new valuable stuff added all the time.

all best

-- Eleanor Scott (eleanor.scott@btinternet.com), December 15, 2000.


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