What do I do next?

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I have SARN'd the Brittania or BDR and they sent back the information (big bundle - makes not a lot of sense!) and basically I don't know what to do next. I would like to negotiate a settlement figure but don't know how to go about it. Do I contact them? How can I clarify the figure owed? Some of the paperwork sent to me mentions amounts being written off. Does this mean anything? None of our local solicitors seem to deal with this sort of thing. Who can help?

Thank You

-- Mrs P (parsons@cedarave33.freeserve.co.uk), June 23, 2002

Answers

There's no easy answer to your questions.

You need to go to the Repossession section (link on the left), then Do's and Dont's and read point number four in the "After they contact you and demand cash" section.

Good luck

Lee

-- Lee (repossession@home-repo.org), June 24, 2002.


Somewhere in the mass of copies they've sent you I would think there would be a breakdown of the claim with itemised entries for the amount you originally borrowed, the interest, the payments you made, the various costs they incurred in repossessing and then selling your property etc.. Many of us have found that their properties were undersold so one starting point is to look at the price obtained for your property and consider if this was a fair price for the market at that time. You should have copies of valuation carried out by estate agents prior to the property being advertised for sale, and you should look at these carefully to see if the highest sale price advised was followed. Another aspect is whether or not you had a MIG policy that was claimed on by the lender and now makes up part of your shortfall claim under subrogation rights. If you take the time to read the section Lee has suggested and also look at recent Q&A postings you should find a lot of good advice to follow. Key points are 1) Put the lender to strict proof of claim ie question everything you are not certain about in their claim eg if they are claiming maintenance costs for repairing your property prior to sale, ask for copies of invoices. If they can't provide invoices then you are under no obligation to pay repair costs being claimed. 2) Under no circumstances should you acknowledge the debt until such times as you are satisfied that the sum of money being claimed is justified. The best way to deal with the lender at this stage is to continue to ask questions and also point out to them that the quantity of material they have supplied you with as a result of your SARN will take you several weeks to examine. Have they supplied you with a copy of the Mortgage Deed and Conditions? If not write to them and ask for this. As to the point at which you try to negotiate a settlement that depends on your personal and financial circumstances, the extent to which you feel that the lender is or isnt justified in pursuing you, and whether or not you are willing to risk filling in details of your income and expenditure on an I&E form (since most lenders seem to insist that this is done before they will reach a settlement that is likely to be low enough for you to accept / be able to pay. Be very careful if you choose to go down this route that you don't get stuck paying regular monthly amounts ad infinitum. Insist on a lump sum full and final settlement. If you have a careful look at past questions I think there are some solicitors mentioned by other posters who have experience in shortfall claims. You could also try asking if anyone here knows of a solicitor in your area who they could recommend. At the end of the day each person has to decide whether or not to try to play for time (12 years from mortgage default) or accept to settle if a reasonable figure can be achieved.

-- Gordon Bennet (arsenewhinger@hotmail.com), June 25, 2002.

It is best to agree a full and final settlement figure, not a monthly payment. Try checking all the figures that they have sent to you. Determine what you feel reasonable amounts would be. e.g. was the selling price they got reasonable, did they obtain the best price for the sale of an endowment policy if there was one, were the selling fees of the property reasonable. Calculate the shortfall amount from the figures which you feel are reasonable. Based on this figure make them an offer which you can afford without borrowing funds from elswhere. Start your negotiations low so that you have room to manover. When an account shows that an amount is written off it normally means that the company has made allowances for not recovering this and shown it in their accounts. Be very careful when choosing a solictor as a some do not have experience of this type of work and you may end up paying them more in fees than you can save. We agreed a settlement of 1k instead of 12.k and a friend also has recently agreed 6k instead of 25k, all without the help and involvement of solicitors.

-- (von6@uboot.com), June 26, 2002.

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