Sun Alliance/Curtis Solicitors Devon

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My flat was repossessed in 1991, a good few years later maybe 8 years Curtis solicitors in Devon took up the case. I had, numerous threats from them immediately telling my I had an alleged shortfall debt to Sun Alliance to the tune of 22k. proof of income was requested along with my proposal to pay etc none of which I replied to. They then decided to up grade the threats to insolvency etc. Thankfully I found this site and responded as advised requesting a list of documents to prove the debt. I have now set out below the last response from Curtis, and would ask for any help and advise as to how I should now respond as I am beginning to feel out of my depth but would obviously like to continue my fight with them. Curtis response is a follows:

We enclose herewith as requested copies of two valuations carried out in respect of the mortgaged property prior to its sale, a copy of the mortgage deed, a copy of the mortgage indemnity policy. We are obtaining a copy of the schedule relating to the indemnity policy.

There was no marketing material shown to you in relation to the morgage indemnity policy as this was a policy held by the Halifax Building Society with our client company. Your loan was merely added by way of a schedule and itwas a term of the mortage that the indemnity policy be put in place for the benefit of the Halifax Building Society.

There was no money judgment in respect of the possission action, it was an action for possession, the shortgall has accrued following the sale details of which are set out in the enclosed schedule. You will note the sale price of the property which occurred in July of 1992. The mortgage valuations you will note value the property in the sum of 41,500 and 43,000.

In the absence of you putting forward your proposals for payment then we shall obtain either a Judgment in respect of that sum or pursue insolvency action.

Your reference to notes and records of telephone conversations following the sale of the property or any correspondence are absolutely irrelevant to this matter. There are no notes or telephone calls recorded.

What do I do next?? for your information my flat was sold for 37,000 at least 4.5k less than the valuation. The schedule they speak about is a listed breakdown of costs on a piece of plain paper not backed up with any proof eg, invoices or receipts Can any one help me as to where I go from here. With much appreciation

-- joanne Gammon (topuppersonnel@btconnect.com), May 07, 2002

Answers

If you looked at the home page before you posted your question Joanne, then you could do worse than print off the advice about what lenders do to avoid giving information. There is a lot of relevant advice. In your case it would seem from what you say that your flat was undersold by about 6000. You need to put the RSA and their solicitors to strict proof of claim. Follow the advice set out on this site about fighting shortfall liability claims. Make them justify the amounts they are claiming in detail. It is interesting that it is the RSA rather than the Halifax who are pursuing you. Serve SARNs on RSA AND the Halifax in order to obtain the fullest information. It's likely that the Halifax have more details about the re-sale of your property than the RSA. The solicitors will only act on the instruction from their client ie. RSA, so start making the RSA do some work to justify their claim.

Above all, don't despair, and don't panic. Read the advice on this site. You have to learn to live with the threatening letters, but for the most part that is all they are.

Remember to remain courteous and to the point. Make sure that the onus is continually on them to provide answers to your questions and provide you with information.

If they can't provide you with copies of invoices for any repairs that were carried out prior to selling the property, then you should request formally that they subtract these amounts from their claim.

There may be a possible way out if you can successfully argue that the shortfall is not a specialty debt ie not subject to the 12 year limitation rule. You need to examine the mortgage deed & conditions to determine this.

You should also ask them to justify why they have waited such an extraordinary length of time to pursue their claim. Why didn't they contact you immediately the alleged debt was incurred? It will be useful to have their reply to these questions in writing, particularly if they eventually take you to court.

Try to take strength from the experiences of others here. You are not the only one in this hole, and hopefully we can all help each other find a way out.

-- Gordon Bennet (arsenewhinger@hotmail.com), May 07, 2002.


With reference to the extract from their letter below:

'We enclose herewith as requested copies of two valuations carried out in respect of the mortgaged property prior to its sale, a copy of the mortgage deed, a copy of the mortgage indemnity policy. We are obtaining a copy of the schedule relating to the indemnity policy.'

Having had EXACTLY the same in a letter from them over a year ago I really would not be too concerned. Study the valuations carefully, are they different companies and are they independant? Is the mortgage deed signed by BOTH parties and does it make direct reference to your mortgage? The MIG will be exactly the same as the one they send to everyone and has nothing to do with your mortgage. Also if you look carefully at the conditions you will see that some have been covered up and the document copied. The scedule will never follow as they seem to have something to hide with this. The follow up letter to me said 's you can see we can supply all documents and if you require the MIG then we will send it'. I therefore asked if they were admitting that the document that had been sent was NOT, as they had said, the MIG. No surprise that they then ignored this totally.

Sned me copies of stuff if you like and I shall look at them to compare to mine. Curtis are a very rude bunch who like to threaten you but who, when questioned, seem to like to disappear and then return months later as though nothing had gone before.

-- Matt (mattyc@ntlworld.com), May 07, 2002.


Joanne,

These are extracts taken from the Council of Mortgage Lenders web site: "www.cml.org.uk/servlet/dycon/zt-cml/cml/live/en/cml/pub_info_dept"

It would be interesting to see if your lender is on the list. Read everything on the web page though, as there are exclusions.

In addition, from 11 February 2000, lenders who are members of the Council of Mortgage Lenders have agreed voluntarily that they will begin all recovery action for the shortfall within the first six years following the sale of a property in possession. Anyone whose property was taken into possession and sold more than six years ago, and who has not been contacted by their lender about recovering any outstanding debt will not now be asked to pay the shortfall. The Association of British Insurers supports this approach on behalf of the mortgage indemnity insurers.

All lenders which subscribe to the Code have now agreed to adhere to it whether they are a CML member or not. You can check whether a lender subscribes to the Mortgage Code by phoning The Mortgage Code Compliance Board on 01785 218200.

Good Luck, Mark.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), May 07, 2002.


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