CAN I BE TAKEN TO COURT FOR A REPOSSESSED PROPERTY EVEN THOUGH IT WAS IN JOINT NAMES AND MOVED OUT LONG BEFORE

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I MOVED OUT OF THE REPOSSESSED PROPERTY 3 YEARS PRIOR, MY EX HUSBAND MOVED BACK IN AND LIVED THERE RENT FREE FOR 18 OF THE 36 MONTHS HE LIVED THERE. I AM BEING CHASED AND THEY KNOW WHERE I WORK, I AM WORRIED ABOUT THE FACT THAT I AM REMARRIED AND HAVE AN INTEREST IN MY PRESENT HOME WHICH IS IN MY HUSBANDS NAME. EVEN THOUGH THEY KNEW MY ADDRESS I WAS NOT KEPT INFORMED AT ALL ABOUT THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY. THE PROPERTY WAS SOLD 2001 AND THEY ARE CHASING ME FOR THE SHORTFALL EVEN THOUGH I HAVE PASSED ON MY EX'S INFO. WILL THEY WIN IF THEY TAKE ME TO COURT OR SHOULD I FIGHT IT ALL THE WAYI

-- caroline bridget dickinson (caroline.dickinson2@ntlworld.com), March 19, 2003

Answers

Caroline,

Joint borrowers are joint and severally liable- either can be sued for the full amount. As far as I know (but you must check with a solicitor) if your home is in your husband's name then this should be safe (don't forget that lender's/debt collectors read this site too). I also believe the lender has a legal obligation to inform you about the sale. You should certainly put the lender to strict proof regarding the alleged shortfall. Did they sell the property for a fair price? Can they justify all the charges? Read the info on the Home Repo site thoroughly, particularly the Do's and Dont's. Be careful not to acknowledge the debt. A part payment towards the alleged debt by either party may restart the limitation period. In any communications make it clear you dispute their claim and deny liability. First get all the necessary info together. I would first write and request all the docs from the lender (see Do's & Dont's), if the lender proves difficult then SARN them. How much is the shortfall? You may be able to negotiate a settlement. You can obtain free professional advice from the CAB and NAMV. If you have any more questions just post them up. Good Luck.

Mark.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), March 20, 2003.


Caroline

My sympathy is with you, I am in exactly the same situation. I was divorced and at university with no income. Lloyds TSB knew where I was, I even had a bank a/c with them and yet they did not contact me at all. Over 7 years on they are suing me for nearly 30,000. I am currently preparing my defence with a bit of help from people here. Why they are suing me I do not know as I am a single parent with very limited income - bankruptcy papers are ready to go in. Mark's advice is right. SARN them (Lloyds ignored mine) and report them to the data commissioner if they do not respond. The SARN should reveal whether or not they followed the correct procedures. It is a bit late at night to go into these in detail but you should find them in this site, if not e-mail me separately. The problem with joint and several liability is that liability is joint (ie both of you are responsible) and several (either of you can be totally responsible). Don't acknowledge the debt in any way due to the way the limitation period works, you are under no obligation to and it is up to the bank to firstly show that all correct procedures were followed. If your current property is in your husband's name then I am pretty sure the bank can do nothing about it. If they start to write to your husband or you at work then threaten to report them for harrassment. If it is the bank's solicitors that take this course then write to the senior partner and threaten to report them to the Law Society. Don't fill in an income and expenditure form - you are under no obligation to do so whatever they tell you. This will just be a tool for them to work out whether you are worth suing or not. Finally do enlist the help of anyone who will listen ie your MP, Government Ministers etc. Can't suggest much more other than to wait for the results of the SARN and see what comes to light. All the best Allye

-- Allye (migclaim@hotmail.com), March 20, 2003.


Caroline,

I have just been through exactly the same thing, my Husbands ex-wife had the house repossessed and he ha just lost his battle with the Halifax, they want 15,000 that we donot have. Went to the CAB, they put us in touch with a debt insolvency company and they informed us that eventhough the house that we live in belongs to myself and not my husband, he does have an interest in the property as he has lived there for the past 4 years and has helped with the upkeep of the property we may have to sell to release his share if the interest if I cannot raise the money to buy him out. The Halifax have not been chasing his ex eventhough we have given all details. We thought the house would be safe because it is in my name as I had the house before we married but it seems not

-- Christine Singleton (Middleforth1@aol.com), March 29, 2003.


Christine

I wouldnt take the answer that your hubby has a beneficial interest without getting another legal opinion. He may have contributed to it's upkeep but it should only be a fraction of the amount of equity rise since he started with the upkeep. Simon Wiggins at debtquestions.co.uk is pretty good with this sort of question.

Sue

-- Sue (bradfordandbingley_suck@yahoo.co.uk), March 29, 2003.


Absolutely, I agree with Sue here I think that they are giving you a bum steer here.

So what if your husband has a beneficial interest - his name is not on the property and the debt has got nothing to do with you, therefore they cannot touch it.

That is what I was told by a solicitor so definitely check this out before you lose anything else on top of what they have already done to you.

-- Chris (chris@anon.co.uk), March 31, 2003.



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