Marital Repossession - Is this Justice? : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

This is a complicated story, yet one, I feel deserves attention and if possible a solution.

It starts approximately 10 years ago with my sisters wedding, a joyful affair but I always knew it would end in tears...I just had that feeling. After some months my sister fell pregnant with my nephew and after a straight-forward birth, a near tragedy almost occurred. My nephew, Sergio had breathing problems and consequently was back and forward into Great Ormand Street Hospital. At this time my brother-in-law decided he wanted to buy a drycleaning business business.

My sister owned her house (in her name) and decided to re-mortgage in order for the business to be purchased to the sum of #50,000. my brother-in-law duly organised all the paper-work which my sister signed and although the law feels that she was not nieve to this transaction, I'm not so sure. If you're sons life was hanging in the balance and you sat there every-day watching a machine do all his breathing could you honestly say you had all you're wits about you, the says yes, I, on the other hand am not so sure. As far as she knew at the time she was signing a guarantee on her property.

The business was purchased through a Business Development Loan offered by Nat west PLC (no independant financial advice was offered to my sister, she had faith in her husband...who wouldn't.

The marriage started to deteriorate after the birth of my Neice, Michela in 1991. My brother-in law started drinking heavily and not once did he support my sister financially, even though she is a partner in the Drycleaners and entitled to the benefits aswell as sharing the burdens. My brother-in-law maintained that the shop was not making money yet there always enough for the alcohol. He began to threaten my sister with letting the shop fail and consequently lose her house. They seperated, yet no formal divorce proceedings were commenced if she did her husband again threatened her with repossession.

This episode continued for three years, yet my brother-in-law maitained that the bank was being paid. Four weeks ago my sister receives a letter from Natwest's solicitors saying the debt was now #68,0000 and that repossession proceedings would start in 7 days. She sought legal advice.

This was the first letter my sister had EVER received from the lenders, they never once attempted to communicate with her directly, knowing that ultimately SHE was the Mortgagor.

For those of you familiar with the concept of Undue Influence will realise it is difficult to show and is an area of law still subject to change. I reasonably au fait with the law as I am legally trained yet never privy to my sister's problems as she was too ashamed to reveal them to me. I hope it's not too late.

here's the real catch, the Legal Aid Board have refused her legal aid as they feel she has no "real defence" in the matter and with solicitors fees at #175 p/h, not to mention Counsel's refresher the consequences are potentially devestating. Of course, all this can be avoided if NatWest were prepared to listen.

Yes, I realise they want their money as it is their legal right, my sister is very much prepared to settle with them. She just doesn't want to lose her house and make her 2 children homeless, not after what she went through to give her son life.

Now this is my view point, the Repossession hearing is on 2 December 1998 and I hope there is somebody out there that can help.

The business is a thriving one, situated in an affluent area of London. It is large and also has a Laundrette and self-Service facilities. The lease is also renewable and comes up for renewal in March. In fact, it's worth is around the #75,000-80,000 mark. The more astute of you will no doubt realise the potential injustice, my sister and her children could lose their house while her estranged husband could keep the business, and although she is a partner she would have to claim nine years of unpaid profits, remember she has never received a penny. This would involve alot of money and any damages would be virtually wiped out through legal costs.

All I hope for is a stay of execution on the Repossession Order, say six months. At the hearing I would like to submit evidence on the following;

1. An affidavit by the Estate Agents that the shop is up for sale (husband says it has been for a while but never showed any evidence to my sister that it was, Do you think an alcoholic would give up a cash till that he could dip into at any time? I think not!

2. Initiate Divorce proceedings

3. Dissolve the partnership

Remember, my sister's objective is to keep the house, the banks is to get their money. The business is solid, as I have already said. This whole mess is merely due to the lack of communication between spouses' and the lack of flexibility on Natwest side. It seems clear that they are hell bent on causing as much pain to one their "at one time" valued customers. Surely this is not Justice, is it?

Anybody have any thoughts or experience on "staying" a Repossession Order? I would very much appreciate your comments via e-mail. Thanks for taking the time in reading this.



-- Danny Grasso (, November 12, 1998

Moderation questions? read the FAQ