Northern Rock, Dickinson Dees and County Court

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Northern Rock held a mortgage of 100K on my house. This had been raised mainly so that money could be plowed into the business of which I was a director. I had to retire due to ill health (MS)in June 1993 and sell my shares in the business. I got the massive sum of 8K for them. Since then I have been living on benefits and have had real trouble keeping up mortgage payments.

Northern Rock were aware of the reason for the problems and were helpful at first when I was managing to keep up the payments albeit on an irregular basis. I reached retirement age in 2000, and then the fun really began. My husband was diagnosed with Cancer and my 92 year old mother lived with us. Arrears mounted up and in March 2001 I decided to sell the house. It was valued at 270K, which was more than enough to pay off the mortgage and buy a bungalow. Northern Rock said the amount owing had gone up to 110K plus extra for arrears. They knew the house was on the market but refused to give me time to get a buyer at or near the asking price. They made me accept a much lower offer, which made it very difficult for me to find a suitable bungalow at a price we could afford in the time scale we were allowed. They were very very nasty and they succeeded in terrifying the living daylights out of my husband and myself. I had visions of all of us squatting in the middle of the road! Stress we could well have done without given our state of health! Even though contracts had been exchanged they insited on taking me to court for an order for possession. In view of the circumstances I was told that I didn't need to attend and that it was a mere formality. The court case was 4 days before completion date.

In my reply to the claim for possession I had asked for full disclosure on the calculation of the sum claimed. All I got was an affidavit from Dickinson Dees, Northern Rock's solicitors to the effect that they had seen and agreed with the calculations. Surely this is a complete conflict of interest in that they could hardly be said to be impartial?

We had done a lot of alterations to the house to provide full access for my wheelchair. These had to be removed and the house returned to its origianl state before we moved and was a condition if sale. If we had been allowed to wait we could maybe have sold the house to a disabled buyer (there are a lot of disabled and elderly people in the town) at the asking price. Altogether the move which had to include paying for help for everything to be done for us and alterations to the bungalow we now have, was in the region of 30K. Money I didn't have but the tradesmen agreed to be paid on completion by my solicitor.

I was too ill for a long time to do anything about the problems with Northern Rock and their claims, but now feel I would like to take them on and get some redress. The question is this, can I take them on with any possibility of success at this late date? Will a case for harrassment work? What about the fact that I didn't get full disclosure? I also think that their interest rate calculations were incorrect. I would be really grateful for any advice anyone could give me. We have to make more alterations to our bugalow and we don't have the money.

-- Anne Veasey (anneveasey@surfanytime.co.uk), January 19, 2002

Answers

Just an additional question really, has anyone heard of the Disability Discrimination Act being used in these circumstances? Please help!!!!!!

-- Anne Veasey (anneveasey@surfanytime.co.uk), January 23, 2002.

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