MIG Cover?

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My husband and I were contacted 1997 for a 34k shortfall; repo 1992, house sold 1995. We sought legal advice at that time and was advised that if we did not pay anything the lender chasing (who took over the mortgage lender we were with) would, through the courts, be able to go to court for our property (bought just 6 months earlier). Because of this we made payments totalling 1760 to date. Last year I halted payments after being advised of this site and following advice recently SARNed. The point is that I was never an original borrower; submitted application but subsequently withdraw and therefore offer was made solely to husband. I was added to the deeds about 12 months after. Lender won't supply deeds but I am pushing this because of the fact that this is the evidence for them to chase me. However, the MIG is a block policy stating that cover is those named on the application forms submitted to the society. I am now quering this as I presume the cover would only apply to my husband and therefore the insurers should actually only pursue him, not me? Any advice how to proceed with this? Can I counterclaim (if I need to) for being pursued for something that I should not have been? Also, the advice from the original solicitor would that help us in a resile situation?

-- Stephanie Wright (the_evil_ste@hotmail.com), March 21, 2003

Answers

If your repo was 1992, check the terms and conditions relevant to that mortgage very closely, as if all the stuff that has happened since then is disregarded the debt is almost certainly statute barred by now. If, as I suspect, you find this to be the case, pursuing the resile route would look like the simplest option to me. Good luck,

-- Melody (mbc109@york.ac.uk), March 21, 2003.

I am confused. I thought I had started the clock running again when contact was made/payments made and it won't apply.

-- Stephanie Wright (the_evil_ste@hotmail.com), March 21, 2003.

Stephanie,

I think the solicitor's advice was correct at the time in that the lender could have gone for a charging order over your new property. However, he should have put the lender to strict proof over the alleged shortfall, did he do that? If he didn't, my feeling is (bear in mind I'm no expert) that resiling may possibly be a good idea, as having made payments to the lender you have effectively acknowledged the alleged shortfall. Resiling may cancel this out and therefore statute bar the shortfall. However, a solicitor has told me the following:

"In respect of resiling an acknowledgment, I don't know of any limitation cases where this has been an issue, but am aware of Bird v Birds Eye and Gale v Super Drug (I have a copy of Gale but not Bird). The latter case seemed to say that an admission can be withdrawn unless the other side can show it would be prejudicial - however, the cases seem to relate to withdrawing admissions made as part of the pleadings - I don't know if they would apply to an acknowledgment made prior to and independent of proceedings."

Did the lender obtain a money judgment order? If they did then they can pursue indefinitely and resiling may be of no use. You really need professional legal advice on all this. I think you are quite right to push the point regarding the mortgage deed, it'll be interesting to see if they have, in fact, added you to the deed. Whether you are joint and severally liable given that the offer was only made to your husband and you were possibly added to the mortgage deed at a later date, I don't know, I'll try and find out.

In respect to the MIG. You state that "the cover would apply to your husband", the cover only applies to the lender. If you are in fact joint and severally liable then the insurer can pursue both of you under the rights of subrogation. If it were me I would claim mis- representation and put the lender to strict proof that they did indeed purchase a MIG. The MIG question has been covered a fair bit in previous postings fairly recently.

I think you need to decide (at least your husband) whether to defend a possible claim or negotiate a one lump settlement after having put the lender to strict proof. If you decide the latter, don't forget to include any third party i.e. insurance company.

Hope this is of some help.

Mark.

P.S. I would also get your local MP involved.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), March 21, 2003.


Thank you Mark for your reassuring words. Had to check, but I understand the subrogation point. I doubt anyone pointed this out to me at the time I was added re MIG; of course if I was ever added. The Mortgage Deed is definiately the sticking point with lender at the moment but I keep asking! No money judgement order was obtained. Although court proceedings were issued; following their solicitor's advice re rehousing - we did just that and returned keys. I don't know if it actually ever went to court; looking at the SARN info it appears not but have SARNed Solicitors for additional info!

No the solicitor did not put the lender to strict proof back in 1987; asked some questions, got a response and accepted what was said. We raised a number of issues but whether they were taken up, who knows? One included that we had received an offer slightly below the asking price that had been turned down by the lender's solicitor. The solicitor response "the court may well consider the point but it is doubtful whether it would reduce the overall debt. If the Building Society were entitled to take action as we believe there were, then providing that was not unlawful then again the logic seems to hold little sway" "...But we are dealing here with legalities and not logic or necessarily business sense". And also with regard to what amount they were looking for (their response) "It is my understanding that the Building Society will pursue the full amount". Very helpful advice wasn't it? It is interesting that none of the correspondence between the solicitor acting for us and the lender is actually included in the SARNed documentation; our correspondence with the solicitor is very limited. Should I go back to them for this? and, if so, how? Ask or SARN again?

One last point, have offered them 1250 (in addition to what has already been paid) - no go. They want 5k lump or 7.5k by instalments.

Any comments greatly appreciated!

-- Steph (the_evil_ste@hotmail.com), March 21, 2003.


Just one other point - there are some financial transactions (1 per year for approx 6 years) that have been "blacked out" and unreadable amounting to a couple of k. Looking at the ledgers I can find 2 entries that relate to the same time period for "excess accounting" - what would that have been for. I have asked Lender for an explanation. Does anyone have any ideas?

-- Steph (the_evil_ste@hotmail.com), March 21, 2003.


Stephanie,

It's good news that no MJO was issued, however, as I understand it, they can still obtain one providing the debt is not statute barred. Although because more than six years have passed since repossession they would need to get leave from the court.

A solicitor's opinion is that if you were added to the mortgage at your request, or with your consent, you will certainly be joint and severally liable to the lender. He is not so sure though of your liability to the MIG insurer if the policy only covered the original applicant. I may get more on that.

I would certainly request the correspondence you mention from both the solicitor and lender. I would just write and ask in the first instance, then if they don't co-operate SARN them.

I'm afraid I don't know what the "excess accounting" may indicate.

Mark.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), March 22, 2003.


Stephanie,

Re the MIG issue. As the mortgage was obviously taken out such a long time ago, it is worth getting a copy of the MIG terms and conditions (check the date of any copies they send you, as many were rewritten after 1993) and the actual block policy (they probably won't let you see this).

MIGs taken out during the 80's and 90's were often sold with the salesperson stating they insured the borrower (not the lender as has been claimed since). You state that the block policy covers those named on the application forms submitted by the society. Where is this information from, have you actually seen the block policy? it implies to me that this insurance covers the BORROWER (i.e. your husband, not the lender), which would mean this portion of the debt has been paid under the insurance and the insurer cannot chase you or him under subrogation. You need to check all the paperwork regarding this issue as it can be pretty ambiguous and therefore unclear as to who is actually insured. You could ask then if the alleged debt has been lessened by payment of this insurance, or whether they are claiming on behalf of the insurers as well.

As far as admitting the debt is concerned, I would state that you did not realise your rights before paying. You could also state that they at no time helped the situation by explaining how this debt was made up and by not supplying you with all the information you need to prove this debt actually exists, and are still not playing ball by not supplying further information that has since been requested, ie. Mortgage Deeds.

Have you also asked why it took them three years to sell your property - thus adding to the negative equity. And I assume you are happy with the price they sold it for, especially as 15 grand seems to be the usual amount that repo'd properties are undersold by? I presume they have sent you documentation to prove it was a fair price and you have verified this yourself by checking other property prices around that time?

The lender probably doesn't have a copy of the Mortgage Deeds anymore. Apparently they are sent to Land Registry when the property they relate to is sold on. You can get a copy of the Mortgage Deeds by writing to the relevant Land Registry office - it costs 8.00.

Good luck.

Tracey

-- One Angry Mother (madcow678@hotmail.com), March 24, 2003.


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