National Home Loans through Allied International Credit are demanding money are they acting legally?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread
After a short period of problems my home was repossessed in Oct 1991 by National Home Loans. In May 2003 I was contacted for the first time regarding this matter. I have itemised the events of the last 2 months and would appreciate it if anyone has any advise for me.
2/10/1991 House repossessed – No contact after moving out from National Home Loans.
1996 Spoke to bank telling them history, checks done and nothing found against our records.
20/5/2003 Demand for £29179.29 with no explanation of what it was for. Phoned number and was told if we paid now they would accept £10000.
21/5/2003 Wrote letter asking for details of debt.
30/5/2003 Received letter stating we were ignoring their letters and if the debt was not settled we would be taken to court.
3/6/2003 Sent letter by registered post again asking for details and pointed out that we were not ignoring just wanted details.
13/6/2003 Received letter stating that due to our continued failure to respond to their numerous letters they had been instructed to begin proceedings against us and this was a final letter.
16/6/2003 Sent letter by registered post again asking for details and stating that we had responded to every letter to date and that information asked for had not been sent.
27/6/2003 Received letter stating that as together we have been unable to resolve the outstanding balance they are sending their agents to visit us within 14 days.
All communications are from Ms K Cameron at Allied International Credit and all replies are addressed to her but she never mentions our letters or requests only that we are ignoring her!
-- Steve Kitt (Steve@fivekitts.freeserve.co.uk), June 29, 2003
Read the "do's and dont's section on this site, especially the section titled "after they contact you and demand cash" Dont be worried about threats from these people until you actually receive a "Statutory Demand" from the court. If they send agents (and they wont, cos its a scare tactic designed to make YOU pay up) dont let them in to your house, and call the police and complain of harrassment, in any case you should write back to Ms K Cameron and state that any further "visits" will result in you taking them to court under Human Rights legislation article 6 (I believe) that protects an individuals privacy. In addition, if it does get to court, you can complain to the judge that the lender hasnt complied with the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR, Explained in the Do's and Dont section) regarding transfer of information. Finally dont panic! & Good Luck :o)
-- John (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 29, 2003.
Did you have any contact whatsoever with the lender from the time of your first missed mortgage payments to 20/5/2003 ? If you didn't (and any possible ex didn't make a part payment if it was a joint mortgage) this debt may well be statute barred, and the CML 6 year voluntary code may apply too. In ANY communications ensure you state that you do not acknowledge the debt, that you dispute the alleged debt and deny liability, and write "Without prejudice" on any letters too. If you first wrote to them on 21/05/03 and 12 years have already passed prior to this date since your missed mortgage payments e.g. 21/01/91 - 21/01/03 I don't think that there is any danger that you would have acknowledged the debt as it should have already been statute barred, but please double check this with a professional advisor, although I will double check this too myself. If you have any more questions just post them up. Good Luck.
-- M Amos (email@example.com), June 29, 2003.
As promised I have double checked the acknowledgement issue with a NACAB solicitor, here is what he said:
"Once a limitation period has expired, no subsequent acknowledgment or payment can revive it.
A lender that still pursues the borrower is not necessarily acting unlawfully or illegally, but the OFT has said that where there has been no regular contact from a lender, the borrower states that the debt is statute barred and that s/he will not therefore pay, any further contact may be harassment. It will depend then on the nature of the further contact.
It would almost certainly be harassmant for a lender to say that a statute barred debt could be enforced through the courts.
The OFT are going to publish some debt collection guidelines which should deal with the issue. They are due any time now.
It seems that it is not clear from Steve's posting whether the 12 years is up - it depends on when time started running which, as you know, depends on the history of default and the terms and conditions of the mortgage. It is also possible that one or more of the letters written to the lender could have amounted to an acknowledgment - it depends on what he said."
Steve, it also depends on whether an MJO was issued, if it was, then in theory, they can pursue indefinitely, although I have never heard of a single case where this has happened,yet. Furthermore, if more than 6 years have passed since its original issue the lender would need to go back to court to get leave to enforce, they may not find this easy if a long time has passed I understand.
Hope this clarifies things for you.
-- M Amos (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 30, 2003.
I presume this wasnt a joint mortgage where the other party could have inadvertently admitted liability by accident prior to 2003?
-- Neil (email@example.com), June 30, 2003.
Firstly can I thank all those who have responded.
To answer other questions that have arisen -
The original mortgage was a joint mortgage with my wife to whom I am still married although there has been no mention of her name on any of the current paperwork and she has not had any contact with either company.
When the first letter arrived I did phone the number but did not admit any acknowledgement of the debt. After the phone call I was on the internet looking to see if I could find information of other such cases and was lucky enough to find this sight so have taken onboard all advice and been very careful in my responses. All letters are now sent by recorded delivery and thanks to the internet I can print out proof of delivery through the Royal Mail's 'Track and Trace' site.
-- Steve Kitt (Steve@fivekitts.freeserve.co.uk), June 30, 2003.
I'm glad that you have been careful not to acknowledge the debt,well done. Have you checked out the CML 6 year voluntary code angle ? The CML state "Anyone whose property was taken into possession and sold more than six years ago, and who has not been contacted by their lender about recovering any outstanding debt will not now be asked to pay the shortfall." See: >http://www.cml.org.uk/servlet/dycon/zt- cml/cml/live/en/cml/pub_info_dept< Subject to the lender being a CML member, which I understand NHL are. If I were you (given that it is often difficult to get lenders to substantiate their claim) I would write to them again (making sure not to acknowledge the debt, just in case) and say that the alleged shortfall is a)statute barred under "Bristol & West v Bartlett", July 2002 and b) falls under the CML 6 year voluntary code. Put the burden of proof on them and then wait and see what they come up with. Please let us know how you get on. If it is statute barred don't forget the alleged debt won't disappear, it will just lie there as it were, it just means they can't force you to pay it through court action.
-- M Amos (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 01, 2003.
As all above but I thought NHL ceased to be after been bailed out via bank of england through its National Mortgage Bank (NMB) and name change to Paragon Home Loans. The letter states NHL?
I'd bet your shortfall claim that the 'legal owners' (very important to check assignment docs on this one) couldnt sufficently 'evidence the claim' in any court proceedings they dare take.
Incidentally £10,000 F&F for a claim of £29,000+ (30%) for a debt this old is ridiculous.
Additionally Allied International Credit are as dense as Moorcroft (dumb and untrained staff) - enough said.
Hope it works out for you.
-- fairer financial world (email@example.com), July 09, 2003.