NORTHERN ROCK have repossessed my home, what powers do they have to chase me fore shortfall?

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Northern Rock have been determined to kick my family out of ourhome since day 1. I took out a mortgage with them not so long ago and unfortunately my Wife was diagnosed with cancer shortly after giving birth to our son, as a result, I resigned from work to care for them. For 8 months i received no benefits or income and we survived on a credit card and savings, still I maintained my mortgage until, getting nearer to xmas, my funds where low. I asked Lyndsey Gibson(supervisor) and the manager Marion Earle if I could make a reduced payment of 150 for 3 months until my wife went into respite and then i could return to work. They agreed. 3 months later i rcvd notice that we where in arrears and would be taken to court for repossession. Mortifed I rang to ask what was going on and they denied all knowledge of the deal and lied saying "we agreed you could make a reduced payment for one month then we would review your claim". Each month (i made card payments) i checked with the csr's that it was okay, they said yes, their is a note detailing the agreement. The court gave a suspended notice and ordered we pay 10 arrears each month. Last month, we fell behind as they now told us that payments need to be in by the 25th of each month otherwise it would show we where in arrears and defaulted on the mortgage. We have always paid on the 28th, why didnt they mention this 18 months earlier???? The house has now been repossessed and we are to be evicted in October. The court has ordered us to pay legal fees and has demanded payment forthwith.

My questions are this:

1. I dont know where my family will be living as we have less than 3 weeks to find accomodation that accepts dss. Will Northern Rock or any of their debt collectors turn up at my mums address to find us should there be a shortfall on the property? We where living there when we signed contracts you see. Is it legal if they do?

2. The courts have demanded legal costs to be paid forthwith, will they send bailiffs round before the date of evoction? Will they let us know if they do?

Thanks, I am desperate, my sister was with C&G and she divorced her partner so she asked for a 6 month freeze on the loan whilst she sorted her finances. They couldnt help her enough. I have a wif who is dying and doesnt need the stress of all this in her final days, plus i have a baby to feed, surely she is more important than NR getting their blood money? Or are they just heartless?

Adam

-- Adam Black (seraphimdownunder@hotmail.com), September 13, 2002

Answers

About five years ago, Northern Rock's attitudes were much more highly publicised than they are today. Which is bad news for those of you who find out too late that they are, in my opinion, among the least trustworthy mortgage lenders to have to deal with.

Interesting to hear that C&G were OK though - they have a history of being involved in ripping off old people (through equity release schemes), in fighting court attempts to get them to compensate those old people and in formalising an internal policy to treat customers badly if customers disagreed with them. They even had a name for the policy but I forget what it was now.

Moving from my opinions to your questions:

1. It's unlikely that they will be that obvious. Usually it's a phone call to your mum claiming to be a delivery service, the Inland Revenue, DSS, NI, customs and excise, whatever... asking for your new address. It is legal to show up at your mum's doorstep. It is not legal to pretend to be the Inland Revenue - but very hard to prove who it actually was.

2. Possibly and don't know.

In my opinion Northern Rock are pretty heartless, but then most mortgage lenders are when their money is at risk.

You need to read the Do's and Don'ts part of the Repossession section to learn about other steps you should now take to reduce the repossession-related risks for yourself in the future.

-- Lee (repossession@home-repo.org), September 14, 2002.


Adam,

Firstly, let me say how sorry I am to hear of your wife's condition. I think Northern Rock's treatment is nothing short of disgusting and inhuman. I think you should follow Lee's advice, however, you could also get your local MP involved, and perhaps even telephone the National Press with your plight and show them up for what they are. Please let me know how you get on.

Best wishes,Mark.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), September 14, 2002.


Thank you guys, the dos and dont section have realy helped make things clear for me and I know that I'm not alone in this. I will post a full response later but just wanted to nip in and thankyou for your time and support.

Cheers, human beings at last!

Adam

-- Adam Black (seraphimdownunder@hotmail.com), September 14, 2002.


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