new at this just recieved massive shortfall demand - please help

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Dear all, I could do with some help and advice.I left my ex in 1999.It was not amicable! Abbey National would not remove me from the mortgage despite numerous requests. I got on with my life and heard nothing more.Then today recieved a shortfall demand from their solicitors,(Halliwell Landau),FOR 15000.My ex had defaulted and the house had been repossesed and sold in 2001.Up untill Nov 2000 Abbey had my contact address and did not inform me of any problems with the mortgage.The mortgage was 62,000 and they sold the house for 57,000,the rest of their demand is made up of interest and numerous other costs.They have included an income , expenditure and proposal form,which I gather from reading this site I should not fill in and return.Please help I dont know what to do next. Lisa

-- Lisa (lisamonogram@hotmail.com), March 13, 2003

Answers

Lisa,

Make sure you read the Home Repo site thoroughly first, especially the Do's and Dont's. I think your first step should be to SARN Abbey National (if you haven't already) and find out exactly how they arrived at 15,000 and what documents they have. It is important to find out too what your ex has done (you should be able to discover through the SARN), for example has he made any payment towards the alleged shortfall? If he has this could have restarted the limitation period (12 years). Did they sell your property for a fair price? Was a Money Judgment Order issued? Was there a MIG? I personally wouldn't fill in an income and expenditure form at this stage. In any communication it is VERY important to make it clear that you or anyone acting on your behalf (even a solicitor) disputes their claim and denies liability, or else you risk acknowledging the mortgage shortfall, and restart the limitation period. Once you have the info back from the SARN you will need to decide what to do. This will really depend on your current personal circumstances i.e. what assets and income you have. That information you shouldn't post up here as lenders also read this site. I think you really have two options, either go for an agreed one lump settlement (if this is financially feasible,of course) or declare yourself bankrupt. Next year the Enterprise Bill re bankruptcy comes into force and a bankrupt (in such circumstances) should be discharged somewhere between 3 and 12 months. I certainly wouldn't offer to make monthly payments as this could drag things on for years and prove much more costly. If you decide to go for a settlement then make sure the property was sold for a fair price and all their charges were fully justified, then halve the total shortfall figure. If it's 15,000 then halve it to 7,500, then try offering 5 or 10% for example 750.00. If you are unemployed and have no assets you could try offering 370 pounds as a full and final settlement (price of declaring yourself bankrupt) on a take it or leave it basis. If you do settle make sure any third party, such as an insurance company, is included. Don't worry it's not the end of the world, worse things happen at sea as they say. I'm not a professional adviser though, so please check things out with one. You can obtain free professional advice from the CAB or NAMV. If you have any further questions just post them up. Hope this helps and Good Luck. Let us know how you get on.

Mark.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), March 13, 2003.


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