shortfall claim

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Ive just recieved my shortfall letter claming I owe them 9,500. My house was repossesd in october last year, but before they took the keys off me I got 1 valuation saying it was worth 35,000. I saw the house advertised at 20,000 in a estate agents. I still have a copy of the local paper with the first advert of the house for sale and a copy of the same paper a week later stating it was sold. (Obviously undersold and made a quick sale) The mortgage was joint. She left,has a baby with another bloke,claming benefits etc , and has no money. I am working therefore am i liable to pay the hole 9,500 ? And how should i reply to this letter ? please help.

-- john millers (john @mill47.freeserve.co.uk), April 23, 2002

Answers

Hello John,

You and your ex. are jointly & severally liable to pay any proven debts which means that they can pursue one or both of you. However You are not liable to pay anything that is NOT proven. This amount of 9,500 is an ALLEGED Debt and they are required to substantiate it by providing copies of relevant documents.

I would suggest that you serve a Subject Access Rights Notice on them (see Site map - Repossession, you'll find a sample of one there). Under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to copies of personal data and the fee you should send is 10. Send to the lender by Recorded Delivery and keep the receipt for same. Allow 40 days for them to respond - if no result then write to them again requesting the documents as per SARN, but don't send any more money. Again send this by Recorded Delivery, keeping the receipt. Keep two copies of everything you send TO them and everything you receive FROM them - even their envelopes as proof of date they posted to you.

In the meantime do some research into the prices that similar properties to yours were fetching at the time in question - perhaps you have a friendly estate agent you can ask. Also have a look at the archives of the newspaper you mention. (Your local library reference section will have these.) Have a thorough look at the property pages to see what was happening generally in the market and specifically with the estate agent who GAVE AWAY YOUR PROPERTY. (How very fortunate for them that they had someone obviously waiting and it would be interesting to know who it was.)As the library archives are held on micro-film you should be able to get print outs of any relevant material. Start building up you case now John.

Actually by underselling it by at least 10,000, and so quickly,they have provided the perfect example of thei particular brand o 'theft'.

if they telephone you at all inform them politely that you are not able to discuss it with them. (This is because you will not have proof of what is said and also prevents them from employing their telephone bullying tactics.)

Hope this helps a bit. Keep us posted of progress. Joy.

-- Joy Harker (fightingback@harker.go-plus.net), April 23, 2002.


Can't add much to this except to say read through this site as much as you can - it has a lot of really useful info. It certainly seems to be true that while politely requesting documents,serving SARNS and making it VERY clear that you will NOT be talking to them on the phone will not cause them to back off you are, at least, making it clear that you're not going to be bullied into self-incrimination or decisions that you may regret. Oh, and don't panic. Mark

-- (cantpaywontpay2000@yahoo.com), April 24, 2002.

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