Court and the Halifax

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The Halifax are chasing my husband for a 10,000 shortfall. The papers have been handed in to court today. The Halifax have sent us a copy of their papers and have put down estimated costs to date of being 1,000, estimated costs overall 7,000 - 10,000. This seems quite a lot. I assume that if we win and the court accepts that my husband only has to pay the 1,000 we have offered then he will not have to pay costs. But if the Halifax are awarded just 1.00 above the offer made then they will have won and the costs will have to ne paid. Am I right. I am trying on my husbands behalf to prove that the Halifax were negligent in not changing my husbands address when he informed them in 1997, the mortgage went into arrears after that date eventhough my husband was paying his ex-wife 90 per week through the CSA and that included housing costs to cover the mortgage. The Halifax will not listen. I have picked through every bit of paperwork they have sent us to try and discredit the Halifax. I have found a few things, one main point being an amendment to my husband personal information, it does not say what the amendment was but the date corresponds with the date my husbands changed his address. The Halifax have said they cannot comment on this until I send them a copy of the document I am refering to. I just don't know what to do next. My Husband want to give in, but I will not let him. He has paid the money once to his ex-wife and we have proof, I'll be damed if he is going to pay again.

-- Christine Singleton (Middleforth1@aol.com), November 08, 2002

Answers

Problem - you don't have proof. I understand that what your husband pays the CSA is not subject to any dispersal conditions, by which I mean that his ex is entitled to decide how she spends the child support payment. Neither you nor your husband have any say in the matter. This is why the Halifax are not concerned with the argument, they know it is a non-starter. Unfortunately, although this is detrimental to your husband, he is jointly and severally liable for the mortgage whatever the CSA factored in to the child support calculation. From what you say, although your husband is paying some child support,his ex will easily demonstrate that it's all accounted for, even though she really doesn't have to.What you'll find is housing costs in the CSA calculation are not specified, so his ex could have rented a mansion and paid for that instead. It's her prerogative, since she has the child(ren). The address change error may or may not help you, but for example my Lender claims I avoided them when I was in the UK by refusing to give a forwarding address.I have proof I advised them of *all* my changes of address, however my solicitor (and theirs) said it was irrelevant.The Halifax will say that the onus was on your husband to follow up the lack of statements, which if was paying toward the mortgage from the previous marital home he definitely should have.You might also want to consider that his ex may be entitled to apply for increased child support if she gets a monetary judgement against her for the mortgage. I know of one case where this happened - the support paying partner went to court (after a debt judgement(simple,not mortgage related) was made against him and his ex. He wanted to get his already minimum child support reduced and it was actually increased. I know this is not want you want to hear, but you should be prepared for any eventuality. Where ex-partners are concerned, there is always unfinished business.

-- Too scared to say (iwasduped@yahoo.com), November 08, 2002.

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