how long have they got?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread
I have been chased now for seven years over the alleged shortfall. I have never agreed liability, but have kept asking the lenders to supply info, explain discrepancies in figures, etc, etc,etc...They have consistently refused to do this, but just keep coming back with same requests for me to ring them, to discuss.(I think not!!) Is there any max time they have to either take me to court or to give up, or can these veiled threats go on indefinetely?
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 24, 2001
Its a moot point, arrears, and one that hasn't been completely tested by the courts.
The main variables are as follows:
6 years if a debt can be designated as contractual, 12 is specialty. Where specialty applies to property and contractual applies to a cash debt. One argument is that once a property is sold it becomes a normal debt therefore 6 years. Natch, the Building Societies and their solicitors are resistant to this. At the very worst my view is that a debt becomes contractual after the MIG has been paid out, and that as a portion of the debt anyway is mig related (a percentage of your shortfall is being pursued on behalf of your insurers) this portion is definitively contractual debt as no property is involved in the liability/contract between you and the insurer.
Next: The CML 'voluntary' code of not pursuing people after 6 years. In fact the CML appear to have created a new definition of voluntary especially for this PR-friendly code. In this instance the word 'voluntary', in the experience on Q&A here certainly, appears to mean 'if you are dead, otherwise we will continue to hound you'. Again it comes back to what is considered six years. They say six years 'from contacting you'. So by their theory they could wait 11yrs 11months, then write to you and hey presto they've got six years to screw you. One counter argument is that if they new where you were all this time, they should have got in touch earlier as you might have made different financial decisions had you known this was hanging over you (ie. not spent your money on beer and fags and wasted the rest).
Whilst this bearly skims the surface you can see it is complex and arguable from both sides.
-- (email@example.com), September 25, 2001.
When the lender has obtained a money judgment order then their is no time limit for the recovery of the debt (i.e Twelve years).Lenders usually treat shortfalls as capital debt so they can chase you for twelve years, however it has been argued that when the property is sold any monies owed, whether Capital or Interest, it becomes an unsecured debt and should therefore be subject to the six year ruling. Whether the twelve or six year applies the time limit runs from: The date the money was first owed, the last time any payment was made however small, this starts the time limit off all over again,and the last time the debt was acknowledged by the client but this must be in writing and signed by either the client or his agent,ie solicitor acting on your behalf or CAB etc
-- mos (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 25, 2001.