underground for nearly 10 years need advice

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I had a mortgage with the HALIFAX which went very wrong in the early 90s. At the time i was only 19 and did what most 19year olds would i took my name off the voters role, closed my bank accounts and went underground i have heard nothing since. UNTIL i by chance bumped into the new owner of my address BEFORE i bought the house and they told me i was still receiving mail occasionally even though they kept returning letters marking them not known at this address. i opened a letter they got for me and it was from the CIS halifax collectors asking me to contact them. i have not and after looking on this site am a little confused as to the statute of limitation am i right in beleiving that if i dont contact the halifax or its agents within 12 years there is nothing they can do about it? and by that time will any credit history be wiped clean?I do not know if they placed a ccj or anything in that time as i have never tried for credit since. PLEASE HELP

-- jason garbell (jason@freelancerecovery.freeserve.co.uk), February 10, 2004



If more than 12 years have passed since you defaulted on the mortgage (normally the 2nd or 3rd default) then, subject to the terms and conditions of your mortgage (it might state for example that you will be in default from the 1st missed mortgage payment), and any possible acknowledgements made by yourself (which doesn't sound likely if you have never been in contact with them) OR any possible part payment made by yourself ,or any possible joint borrower, the debt will be statute barred. However, if a Money Judgment Order was issued then they could, in theory, chase you indefinitely. Records of MJOs are, I understand, only kept for 6 years, so the only way you can find out is from the lender. If an MJO was issued they would need to return to court after 6 years in order to get leave to enforce from the court. This I believe may not be so easy because the lender would need to have shown the court that there were good reasons for the delay. If they haven't done this then I think they'll have cooked their goose. I believe any adverse credit history (with the exception of fraud of course) drops of your credit file after 6 years, so yours should be clear, but you need to check this. If your shortfall is statute barred bear in mind that the alleged debt doesn't disappear, it just lies there, so to speak, it just means that they cannot pursue you through the court. You may find, however, that debt collecting agencies will still hound you for it hoping to get something out of you by playing on your possible ignorance of the law. If this happens and you feel you are being harassed contact the OFT, there are now new stringent regulations in force to prevent this. Hope this is of some help.


-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), February 11, 2004.

hi Mark Thanks for your info, when you say the debt does not dissapear it mearly lies dormant, what effect would that have on credit checks etc, and would i have to declare it in any future mortgage application ?

-- j.garbett (jason@freelancerecovery.freeserve.co.uk), February 11, 2004.


The following comes from a solicitor.....

"I think that debts usually come off the file 6 years after they have been registered, but this is just practice rather than any legal thing. I would have thought that this would apply to CCJs as well as defaults

I don't think limitations has anything to do with it.

To the best of my knowledge, CCJs are removed from Registry Trust at the end of the 6th year after they were registered. There is also a (repo)possession register and I imagine it would be six years as well.

Someone would have to declare a repo on a mortgage application if the question was asked. Not to be truthful is technically 'obtaining by deception'. If the question is not asked, no problem."

Jason, of course freelance recovery may be able to give you a more precise answer ? Anyway, the question I ask myself is when do they register the debt, on sale of the repo'd property ? Perhaps someone else out there knows ? The CML do keep a possessions register and the debt is supposed to drop off after 6 years, however, of course the same question applies, when do they register it ? Even if they say 6 years I would not trust them to honour this, you should check it out when the time is right. If the debt is still registered then it will have an adverse effect on your ability to obtain credit. If you try checking your credit file before the debt is statute barred this action, I personally believe, flags it up and attracts debt collectors like wasps round a honey pot.


-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), February 16, 2004.

Thanks again mark!! freelance recovery is the car/breakdown recovery firm i work for nothing to do with finance. I am gratefull for your help and advice, like most of the cases on this site i am not proud of my situation and if i had the money ( a lottery win would be nice ) the first thing i would do would be to pay this off . I am glad i stumbled onto this site and am very glad you responded to my plea. I would like to think in some future situation i would be able to return the favour JASON

-- jason g (jason@freelancerecovery.freeserve.co.uk), February 16, 2004.

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