Do I settle or fight on ? (Eversheds/Grabby)

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Firstly,I would like to give a big thank you to this site for giving me strenght when I needed it. Over the last 18 months I have been embroiled in a mortgage shortfall claim with Eversheds/Abbey Nat in relation to a debt incurred in 1990. Having started in the regular way(threatening letters etc..) I have suceeded in paring the claim from the original 48,000 down to a lump sum of 2,500 taking advice from this site.All well and good I'd think you'd agree. My point is,as they have point blank refused to supply me with any documentary evidence(SAR picked up next to nothing)is there a case for me holding out for a complete write-off or should I think myself lucky and settle?

-- Tim Pool (tim-pool@yahoo.co.uk), June 11, 2001

Answers

What I'm saying here is my own personal opinion, others may think differently. But if I were you, I would pay the 2500, make sure that you get it in writing that that is the last of the matter and walk away.

I don't think its worth the risk in trying to get the whole amount written off. The reason for fighting a lender over their shortfall claim is that the amounts claimed are not justified or reasonable, and paperwork patchy and incomplete. If the lender did justify their claim and provide all documentary evidence, you could have found that you would still owe them something.

At the end of the day, lenders have access to the "best" law firms around who are experienced in stuffing the little guy. You are in effect on your own, even with the help of this site.

See what other people say in response and take it from there. Take a look at some of the case histories and see what others have done at this point.

Pendle

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), June 11, 2001.


I completely agree with Pendle. Pay the money (after you get it in writing that it's full & final and will not adversely affect your future credit.) Then toddle off to the pub and have several celebratory jars, because you've got your life back.

-- Too scared to say (iwasduped@yahoo.com), June 11, 2001.

I agree with both, i got mine reduced to a low figure and made them send me a letter stating that the debt has been settled and i made them remove all traces of the debt from all credit agencies which they did. Within 2 months i got a new mortgage and became a home owner again. 2500 from 48000 is a good reduction, take it!

-- Terry (terry.harborne@ukgateway.net), June 11, 2001.

I also see think that lenders will see small sums paid as settlement as a sign that the borrower has reached an agreement. A court would take the view that bank X has agreed to settle for X instead of the amount they are claiming. By not accepting this figure a court may then take the view that the offer was a good one and you had the chance to pay it, by not doing so and then having bank X chase you for more, their claim could be a good one (even though we know it wouldn't be) and may make an order for you to pay. I had a similar experience over the last few days when I ordered a camera for the g/f from dabs.com. The camera wasn't delivered twice. I threatened them with breach of contract. They (after a number of phone calls and emails) then agreed to provide me with a more expensive camera at the same price as the one I ordered providing that was the end of the matter. If I hadn't accepted they it would have gone to court and they could have relied on the fact that they made a reasonable (in their eyes) offer to settle the dispute and I refused. A judge (imho) would have taken their view at this stage and I may have ended up with just my money back and no goods. I also believe that the banks will want something back, no matter how little the amount is as they need to save face as well. Whilst we may all agree that they are all a complete bunch of bastards and that we dispute the amounts they are claiming, as others here have agreed, it's a personal thing and it can stop a lot of headaches for you. In my case I settled and two months later bought a new home. If there was no chance of me getting a new mortgage so quickly there is no way I would have settled. I think that you guys are doing a great job and are causing problems for these banks, this is great however you need to sort your own problems out as well as everybody else's (if that makes sense). You need to see courts and counsel working to see what I mean. They bargain for the best settlements, they rarely get a claim set aside, they rarely get all the claim that they want as well. My final point is the emotional side of these disputes. We don't know what this is really doing to some people. If they are offered a small settlement figure, who are we to say to them to continue in the hope that the debt will be quashed. They may be getting pressure from husbands/wives (new and old) to settle so that they can have a normal (for want of a better word) life. I would always say settle if you are happy to do so, screw the bastards if you are not. Seeing a 45000 shortfall claim reduced to a few thousand doesn't half make you feel good. You feel like you've won and that is the big bonus! All the best, Terry

-- Terry (terry.harborne@ukgateway.net), June 12, 2001.

I think that whether or not you settle is a very personal matter, (of course) in that it depends on your state of mind and whether you're willing and can go on fighting for what you feel is right, to change the attitudes of the lenders and the likes of DLA and Evershits.

Paying a lender 5% of the debt just to get your life back isn't really the way to go about changing attitudes, but I think it takes a special kind of person to go all the way. For some, to get to a settlement stage, pay up and go home is a big relief, and some just have to do that.

I feel that the fact the HRP exists and the help that it gives has been very much a kick in the teeth for the lenders and their representatives, even more now than a year or so ago. No longer can they go demanding tens of thousands of pounds, threatening court action, bankruptcy and making people's lives a misery. For every person that doesn't know about the HRP and gives the lenders an easy ride, there is another who'll cause them as much grief as they've caused us.

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), June 12, 2001.



However:

Everytime someone settles, the lenders think it's OK to keep behaving like this. So why don't I just settle for - what's the 'going rate' according to this post? - 750 quid? Because IMHO Abbey and Eversheds are *wrong*, and we're starting to make them nervous enough to suspect that themselves, and for some MPs to begin to voice that opinion in Parliament and in the media.

OK, a settlement of around 5% is a good figure, but only if it's an undisputed debt. I don't want to be (in my opinion) 'blackmailed' into 'getting my life back', given that the lender's basically taking the piss. Where's the concrete evidence of these 'debts'? Where's the evidence that (a) we weren't mis-sold MIGs and (b) that the lender can chase for MIG money after 6 years? Where's the evidence that my flat was really worth 1,300 when it was sold by the lender?

No-one has the right to harass and intimidate people over disputed civil debts.

-- Eleanor Scott (eleanor.scott@btinternet.com), June 14, 2001.


Thank you, everyone for your opinions and advice. I have thought long and hard about this and have decided to settle, much as it goes against the grain.Mine was the typical case flat sold for 55,000 in 1991 even though they advised me to hand the keys in the year before when their valuation was 70,000,accrual of nearly 30,000 in interest charges,non specific extras etc, and not one document to show !! Then came the harrassment nine years later,phone calls to my girlfiend's house,lies about how I had to provide I&E details and that I was making things worse for myself by seeking advice.One thing that did keep them in check though, was sending letters to Abbey with my complaints about their behaviour and eventually complaining to the Office of Supervision of Solicitors. I wish I was the one brave enough to stand up to their "blackmailing" tactics as Eleanor rightly puts it,but it has all had an awful toll on my physical and mental health and affected those close to me. Thank You again.Tim

ps I typed in my e-mail address incorrectly the first time.

-- Tim Pool (tim_pool@yahoo.co.uk), June 14, 2001.


Well yes, in essence your points are absolutely correct..but..after years and years of hassle I would have to say, hand on heart, that I have no fight left in me. Had there been a site such as this years ago (and indeed had I access to a computer!) I may be thinking more along your lines and would stand and be counted. Eleven years is a long time to be hounded, intimidated, threatened directly or otherwise and to not know if you can get on with your life. Yes, the Lenders are wrong, utterly, morally and legally wrong in most cases to do what they have done to genuine victims. They should not be able to chase us for a shortfall after a repossession, where the MIG's were mis-sold (almost all of them prior to 1993 I would say) or where the properties were undersold (definitely all of them as we know). The Lender's behaviour in most cases is disgusting. They ruin people's lives with their tactics, particularly when they wheel in the likes of Evershite's/DLA whatever, to scare you to death. The Court system is equally to blame with it's blind acceptance of the integrity and truthfulness of the money-men. None of us who were repossessed through circumstances beyond our control would ever have willingly put ourselves through such misery. Every time the post came my heart would sink and my stomach would flip wondering if there was yet another distinctive envelope from the people after me. Settling for a small sum is an option I would have considered had it ever been offered, but it wasn't. One day soon, when the 12 years is up, I will give this site everything on my case - it's a classic example of how I was totally ruined and relentlessly pursued when I had/have nothing to give them, the other (never once contacted)party being the one who *could* have settled with them. Why do they do it? Yes, you are right Eleanor, but it's my weakness (I guess) which prevents me from fighting anymore.

-- Too scared to say (iwasduped@yahoo.com), June 14, 2001.

Don't for one minute think that you've not been brave. The fact that you did fight back until you got the shortfall reduced to 2500 is an achievement in itself.

As you said in your posting, these events have affected your health and affected those around you. For your own sake and that of your family its time to settle, and thats 'settle' not 'give up'.

You'll have ended up having to pay something even if events had gone all the way to the bitter end. Your lender and their advisors know that they would have had a hard time proving their case, and although they've saved themselves embarrassment in court by you agreeing to settle, you've given them a hard time in return.

One thing I would suggest, and you'll probably need a solicitor to draw this up, is that rather than having a letter worded by their solicitors saying that the matter is closed forever, have a "deed of settlement" drawn up (it'll be worded in your favour then). Also, do as Terry did and make them remove all traces of the debt from all the credit reference agencies.

Once you've got your 'clean slate' you'll feel so much better and you'll have a life back. Enjoy it and make up for all the time you lost!

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), June 14, 2001.


Mine is really a question for "Iwasduped" and "pendle" How do you get the Grabbey National to remove all traces of the debt, when they claim they can't as it is a CCJ?

-- Jude Adegbe (jude.adegbe@lineone.net), July 21, 2001.


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