If no Money Judgement was ordered can claiming £60,000 be lawful and pursued after 8 years

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

Please help, November 1992, I separated from my husband. Wrote to Eagle Star explaining the marital breakdown and requested they repossess the house as I could not afford the mortgage payments and the rent on my accommodation, this was in addition to taking on all the other debts. I knew my ex. would not continue payments and he was left in the house and refused to try and sell it independently. I was the major wage earner. I believe this to be a Consensual Repossession? At the court in April 1993 we never even got into an actual courtroom. A lady (?who she was)took us into another room and asked us to agree a settlement on non-payment of the mortgage. I explained the repossession was not a result of non-payment but marital breakdown. To my knowledge no Money Judgement was ordered. Despite several communications with Eagle Star requesting information on the sale of the house etc and on any monies owed to them I never received a reply. Eventually I gave up, I moved to London, started a new life and forgot about it. I have NEVER made any attempt to hide my forwarding addresses. Iíve been on the electoral role, received finance, been in full time employment etc etc.

In March 1999, I received a letter from Eagle Star informing me I owed them £35,000.00. They had sold the house for £26,000 in December 1993 and the mortgage was £48,000.( I believe the house had a market value of around £50,000. They have even added costs for gardening and maintenance. On telephoning them I was told they had lost my address and in subsequent letters they tell me they have a 'policy' to give people time to get back on their feet after repossession!! Letters have gone back & forth and although I have never admitted liability I did offer 10% in an attempt to bring this to an end. They refused wanting a lump sum of nearly £9,000 or £40pcm rising to £80 and to be reviewed on a 6monthly basis. No final amount was ever offered by them so I refused. In 1999 they told me that as I had not made an agreement to pay they would now add interest. I never had any further communication until Feb this year to tell me they were commencing legal procedures, last week I received a County Court Claim ( hand delivered ) form for nearly £60,000.

I am in full time employment but have no assets or savings and I am living in rented accommodation. Unfortunately this means I do not qualify for legal aid(?) but to fight this in court even assuming I won I would still end up with a hefty solicitors bill. I have returned the acknowledgement of service stating that I intend to defend this claim. Brave words but I really donít know how I intend to do this or indeed what my defence would be.

Does this all come under the Limitation Act of 1980 and what are my rights? Can they chase me for this after all this time? Could I accuse them of harassment ( by virtue of them adding interest just because I did not agree a settlement figure)? Have they been negligent in under-selling the house? Do they have a Duty of Trust for the maintenance of the house. Despite the fact that in 1999 I gave them the last known address of my ex, they appear to have made no effort to chase him. It was a joint mortgage. Can this be fair.

I know this is a great deal to ask but my work and personal life is suffering as is my health.

-- Del (heshedu@arsenalfc.net), June 18, 2001

Answers

Response to If no Money Judgement was ordered can claiming £60,000 be lawful and pursued after 8 years

These answers came in to somebody else a while ago, who also posted with the news that she had received a claim form (what used to be called a writ or summons):

The summons [claim form] will have given you a time limit within which to respond so you must do the following quickly:

1. Get a recorded delivery letter off to Skipton [i.e. the lender] and/or their lawyer/debt collector requesting a copy of the mortgage deed, mortgage terms and conditions, MIG agreement if you had a MIG, copies of two independent valuations prior to the property's sale and documentary evidence that they marketed it properly and copy of the money order.

2. Go see a solicitor and tell him you want to: a) file a defence (Show him this email and make him/her think for their money) b) put Skipton to "strict proof" of the claim c) begin Discovery (and that you want to ensure that they don't use any "it got lost in the post"-style tricks to wriggle out of Discovery) d) file a counterclaim if any of the following apply: i. there was a MIG that you thought would protect you - counterclaim mis-selling, misrepresentation ii. you think they sold it too cheaply - counterclaim negligence iii. you think they sold it to a neighbour or landlord if it was a long-leasehold property (Skipton v Stott taught Skipton all about the issues involved in doing this) - counterclaim negligence iv. you think they didn't take account of bills for repairs that you may have already paid for a long-leasehold property - counterclaim negligence v. you have previously asked them to prove the claim and they haven't - counterclaim negligence for failure to abide by the Woolf reforms vi. summons is out of time if the repossession was more than six years ago (yes, I know, lenders claim 12 years, but do it anyway because Abbey allegedly backed off rather than see the Holmans test this in the Court of Appeal) vii If their letter asking you to fill in an Income & Expenditure form threatened you with court action or higher penalties if you didn't fill it in and if it also sought details of your partner's income and you have a partner, counterclaim harrassment and add that you have issued a complaint to the Data protection Commission over this breach of the Data Protection Act

3. If their letter asking you to fill in an Income & Expenditure form threatened you with court action or higher penalties if you didn't fill it in and if it also sought details of your partner's income and expenditure and you have a partner... complain in writing, enclosing copies of the I&E, its accompanying letter and the summons to the Data Protection Commissioner (recorded delivery - do everything recorded delivery) at:

Office of the Data Protection Commissioner Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF

4. Keep us informed

Your solicitor probably won't understand most of what I am talking about because few understand repossession law. But they do understand civil court procedure so you need them to keep you on track as you do defence, counterclaim and discovery.

If anyone can think of anything I've left out, please notify me privately and I will add it into this post. Or feel free to post it yourself.

Good luck June.

Lee

PS: A reader has added the following:

Due to the amount being claimed - this should be in the 'fast track' system - i.e. the lender should have all documents to hand - otherwise the defendants can have the case struck out - the rule of thumb which any decent solicitor will advise you privately is - that they won't issue unless all the papers are in place, due to the danger of being unable to deliver.

If you have a friendly solicitor connection he/she should confirm this.

-- Lee (repossession@bigfoot.com), November 30, 2000.

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I believe you should ALWAYS obtain advice from a solicitor when you receive a Court Summons. In my opinion considering the size of the shortfall being claimed it would be very wise to do so in your case.

It might also help if, in addition to seeking professional legal advice, you read all the information provided on the HRP thoroughly, to see if there is anything that may help you in your case.

Good Luck,

-- Tony Hayter (Tony@Hayter.com), November 30, 2000.

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Do you have a copy of your completion statement from the sale of the property? If not, write to Skipton and ask for one to be sent without delay. See your solicitor and ask him to put in a holding defence for you. Its possible that you can go to court and explain that this isn't a simple case and can you have more time to submit a defence please. The courts will usually agree to this.

Read through this website thoroughly, you will see the sort of information you need to get hold of.

Having already received a summons, can in some way be seen as a blessing. If the Skipton mess you around with documentation that you ask for - the Courts won't be pleased. Once you start digging, hopefully the Skipton will pull out and negotiate a much smaller amount.

Good luck. Come back to the board if you need help.

Pendle

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), November 30, 2000.

-- Eleanor Scott (eleanor.scott@btinternet.com), June 20, 2001.


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