Answer re.: Taking over former spouse's mortgage

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

I tried to post this as an answer to a previous query, but ... some error message. To those who have asked about spouse leaving and stopping mortgage payments.

If your name is NOT on the title to the property AND you are married AND you occupy the property as the matrimonial home you need to register with the Land Registry. Although this does NOT prevent your spouse from selling/ remortgaging and it does not prevent the mortgage company from being allowed to repossess, it does give you 3 main rights in this event.

1. (In response to Michael Williams) Although the mortgagee does not have to discuss the account with you, it does have to accept your payments - section 30(3) Family Law Act 1996. The law treats these payments as being as good as being made by the main account holder. Keep records of all payments as you will be entitled to an interest in the property - which needs to be protected by entering a "caution" with the Land Registry which entitles you to object to any sale or remortgage.

2. The right to be "joined" as a party to possession proceedings so you can ask the court for more time to clear arrears.

3. The right to notice of a possession hearing.

You should also note that it is possible to find out what mortgages are secured on any property by paying 4 to the Land Registry. Anyone can look up the title to any registered property.

-- Jenny Russell (jenny@andersonrussell.freeserve.co.uk), January 16, 2003


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