can they sell my home?

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Hi,

I jointly own my home with my wife. She is being pursued relentlessly by B&B for a shortfall from a previous mortgage she had with her ex-husband.

I want to know if they will be able to get a charging order against our house and force us to sell it? The debt has nothing whatsoever to do with me. We have three children (including a baby under 6months old), surely no judge would make us homeless for a debt that I'm not responsible for?

Thanks for any advice

Andy

-- andrew deackes (andrew.deackes@lineone.net), January 13, 2005

Answers

I am afraid they can get a charging order over the property ijn respect of your wife's share of the ownership of the property. As to a forced sale - that is down to the judge - I am afraid that the fact you have small children does not come into the equation and following a charging order, you are likely to, eventually, be forced into a sale situation. The judge has no option buy to follow the law - he/she might give you some time to sell the property yourself, but if push comes to shove, the lender can force a sale, either through the charging order, or through your wife's bankruptcy.

What your wife must do now is follow the advice on previous cases - see if the claim is statute barred first, if not, then SARN the lender and make them prove their claim. (I am, for this answer, assuming she has not already been taken to court)

You really do need to seek the help of a professional who can negotiate or mitigate the claim - remember that lenders have settled for as little as 10% of what they initially claim is due - coming to a settlement with them might be your best way forward.

-- David J. Button (davidjohnbutton@supanet.com), January 13, 2005.


David

More a question than an answer. In a situation such as this, what would happen if Andrew "bought" out his wife's equity? I've never been clear on that - can you advise?

Regards

Brian.

-- Brian Mitchell (mitchell.brian@ntlworld.com), January 13, 2005.


If he did that in order to prevent the house being claimed, then it is likely that that "sale" would be set aside as it would have been done to put the asset out of reach of creditors.

-- David J. Button (davidjohnbutton@supanet.com), January 13, 2005.

or the sale might stand but they would just take the money from my wife.

Andy

-- andy (andrew.deackes@lineone.net), January 14, 2005.


Not necessarily Andy. Scenario - I know I am going bankrupt - so I dispose of as many assets as I can that might be clobbered to put them out of reach of the creditors - not much creditors can do about chattals (i.e. the sofa, the car, my rolex etc.) but lo and behold, I sell a relative my house for say 10,000 less than its supposedly worth. An application to set the sale aside would likely be granted simply because I "sold it" for less than true worth - that fact being supported by not putting it on the open market.

You are not at this stage yet - as I said before, try negotiation.

-- David J. Button (davidjohnbutton@supanet.com), January 14, 2005.



Quick update, we didn't get legal aid so my wife had to attend the case management meeting alone. She put forward a number of valid reasons for the claim to not be re-instated and despite the claimants solicitor going on and on repeating the same things the judge struck the claim so they cannot proceed with it.

I think this means we have so breathing space, that nothing will happen immediately. However, I'm not sure if they can just submit another claim or not!

Andy

-- andrew deackes (andrew.deackes@lineone.net), January 19, 2005.


Quick update on this. The solicitors representing the building society have sent us a letter stating they are going to submit a fresh claim to the court for the outstanding shortfall.

We now have to go through it all again, we are still waiting to hear if we will get legal aid. Without it we don't seem to stand much chance as they have a massive, international legal firm representing them and we are on our own.

The worry and stress are terrible and I really don't know what will happen.

-- andrew deackes (andrew.deackes@lineone.net), January 28, 2005.


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