urgent help needed over short-fall (repossession) claim

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my wifes exhusband left the marital home in january 1990 and made no payment or maintenance for daughter. my wife continued to work full time and paid the mortgage solely without any arrears. She and her daughter were intimidated from their home by the ex-husband, who proceeded to move in. She had to take up private accomodation and was forced to quit her job to look after her daughter. At the time of vacation the house had been valued at 35,000 and she had in fact received an offer of 34,000, which the ex-husband refused to accept. From the time he moved in he din`t pay the mortgage and moved out a year later. The building society are pursing my wife for the total outstanding aamount eleven and half years down the line. Question: have we got a case on the six to twelve year rule, have we got a case that the house was sold too cheaply, can they pursue my assets as we have a joint mortgage, can we pursue the data protection commission for threatening court action if income and expenditure forms weren`t filled in. We have always responded to their correspondence politely, denying liability, but have now eleven and half years down the line received a claim form form the court. Help

-- ian davies (yindavies@aol.com), June 07, 2003

Answers

Ian

(It can help if we know who the lender is !)

Anyway if the lender first contacted your wife 6 years after the house was sold then I would think any action they have is time barred. When the 6 year starts is a grey area as some say it starts from the date of the first default on the mortgage and others from the date the house was repossessed and/or sold.

(Really what happened between your wife and her ex will make no difference to the lender although morally it's a shame she seems to be lumbered with the problem.)

They cannot pursue any assets in your name only, however if you have a joint mortgage they could make a "charge " on your property. This means that if you tried to sell your house, any profits would be forfeited in order to pay the debt to the lender!

I think you would be wasting your time with the Information Commissioner re them threatening you with court action for not completing I & E forms. If anything you might want to complain to the Financial Ombudsman about these methods of intimidating you. I would leave that for the moment.

But what you have look at is the best options available to you at the moment and move on from there. My thoughts are that your wife should write to the lender again, denying any liability for this alleged and unsubstanted debt and simply advise them that their actions are time barred and that she trusts the matter is now closed for all parties concerned. Send the letter Recorded Delivery. Then wait to see what their reply is.

If it transpires the matter is not time barred then we would have to re-evaluate the position and one thing I would do is have your mortgage changed to your name only. Remember they can't take what your wife doesn't have. so if she is not working and totally reliable on you financially she could consider bankruptcy (but get your mortgage changed beforehand) or making a very small full and final offer (without admitting liability)just to get the matter done and dusted. There may be other options but they can be considered once you see what they say about the time barring.

I am no legal expert and someone else might come up with some better advice but that is the angle I would take if I were in her position.

I hope this helps...e mail me direct if you want.....let me know how you get on!

All the very best of luck!

M

-- moira (Anderston828@aol.com), June 07, 2003.


They can pursue you for 12yrs for the principal Loan and 6 yrs for the Interest element of the clai

-- greg (greg3456@aol.com), June 07, 2003.

Ian,

As you have received a claim form from the court I really think you should get a legal professional to help, and represent you. I posted up some names and addresses before under "Is suicide the answer". You may also be entitled to legal aid. Greg is correct that they have 12 years to pursue you under the Limitation Act 1980, usually from the 2nd or 3rd default (subject to mortgage terms & conditions), it also depends whether you have acknowledged the debt or made a part payment and whether the lender obtained a Money Judgment Order. This is why it's important to have a a legal expert check over your paperwork first hand. This has been covered many times before so please read previous postings. You should also check to see whether the CML 6 year voluntary code applies in your case. I would ask whoever helps you to put the lender to strict proof, also istruct them not to acknowledge the debt on your behalf, in writing (it has happened inadvertently on occasions). Good Luck.

Mark.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), June 09, 2003.


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