B&B increasing liability at will

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Having been notified of shortfall in 1997 from 1994 repo I accepted liabilty for half the shortfall as it was a joint mortgage with ex-wife. I have been paying monthly since, but I recently reduced payment amount due to change in financial circumstances. B&B are threatening to take me to court. I have recently found out ex-wife paid a settlement on the other half of the debt and B&B are threatening to add the remainder of her share onto my debt if it goes to court. Can they do this? Did they not forfeit the remaining portion of her debt when they accepted the settlement payment?

-- dave (anon@hotmail.com), January 30, 2005

Answers

I don;t know if they can legally add on the remainder of your ex's shortfall on to yours but I would send a SARN letter to the lender and it might throw up some useful information.

If your circumstances have changed to the extent that you are on benefits and have no assets (like a mortgaged home) then you might want to consider making them a F & F based on these circumstances. But don;t do this before you get the info from the SARN.

Hope this helps a wee bit!

Moira

-- Moira (Anderston828@aol.com), January 31, 2005.


Dave,

I am not a legal expert, so please check with one, but I think they can do this, you are jointly and severally liable to the WHOLE of the debt, not half. Given you have been making monthly payments you have acknowledged the debt with each payment and so restarted the 12 year limitation period from the date of each last payment. I suspect your best bet is to negotiate a nominal settlement with the lender, like your wife, put them to strict proof of the debt to help do this, and make sure you take into account all the monthly payments you have already made. If they turn nasty don't forget to solicit the help of your local MP. Good Luck.

Mark

-- M Amos (idgroms1@yahoo.co.uk), February 10, 2005.


Mark is correct. Where there is a joint mortgage, both borrowers are joint and severally liable for the debt.

This means that each borrower is liable for the full debt. If your ex-has done a deal to settle her liability, I am afraid that leaves you liable for the full balance owing.

-- Guy Skipwith (guy@skipwith107.freeserve.co.uk), February 16, 2005.


Hi One point that has been missed is was the mortgage in joint tenants (both parties own 100%) or was it tenants in common (the same as owning shares in a company) this link is worth checking out Regards Adrian

-- Adrian Ratcliffe (info@rd-solutions.co.uk), March 06, 2005.

With respect, you should check the terms of the settlement that was agreed with your wife - because it may well be worded in the form of a compromise agreement, the terms of which could prevent B&Bcoming after you for any part thereof ? They should be put to 'strict proof' of their claim and the amount of the debt if they wish to go to court.

Further, I would respectfully suggest that if your circumstances are changed in a negative way, by going to Court B&B may be shooting themselves in the foot, as the Court can only award certain specified amounts as payment, and this may be less than you are already offering to pay. Don't forget on any I&E to include 'everything' - laundry, cigarettes, extra groceries (especially if you have special dietary needs).

Should you want to see the effects of a compromise agreement and the many facets thereto, I suggest you obtain a copy of 'The Law and Practice of Compromise' 5th Edition by David Foskett, QC, (the so- called bible on the subject), from your main library (rather exopensive to buy but avaibale at Hammicks London in the sum of 160.00 net.

Good Luck !

-- Barrie Stir (BarrieStirInfo@aol.com), March 14, 2005.



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