Bristol & West Shortfall : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

I purchased a property in 1987 with Bristol & West, and after some financial difficulties I handed the keys back in April 1990.At the time I took out the mortgage I was forced to pay some #500 for indemnity insurance which ,I was told , would cover the mortgage amount should I default on the payments.This ,I should add, was for the full amount of the mortgage , not the monthly payments. I have today received a letter from Bristol & West informing me that I now owe them the sum of #56,280.79 which is the shortfall from the sale of the property.I have not been in contact with them yet, as I plan to speak to a solicitor first. How do I stand legally.Can they force me to sell my current property? Surely I have some comeback , as I paid the insurance that they demanded. Help!

-- Terence Steven Smith (, June 09, 1999


Assuming that worst came to the worst, they wouldn't usually force you to sell your current property. They would more likely put a charge on it, which would allow them to have a slice of the cash when you eventually sold it.

But they don't really want to do that either. They want you to make them an offer of... let me guess... around 6,000 to 8,000 (sterling).

Your legal position varies for different components of the claim. For each component, it is also affected by the facts of the case.

It is unlikely that you have any legal redress over the insurance unless you can prove that it was mis-sold to you - that they really did say it would cover you in the event of default rather than them.

However, as it is now more than six years since the repossession they are unlikely to be able to win the lost interest portion on the claim, if there is one. There usually is.

You may or may not be in a strong legal position over the amount they claim they lost because of the sale price. It depends on whether they sold it for best value, did proper marketing, and wrote up accurate accounts. Lenders often fall over on one or all of these three things (as well as others).

To arrive at your legal position you need the facts of these issues. It is unlikely that the lender will answer your requests for this kind of information though, as they are looking after their interests, not yours.

That, in a nutshell, is the repossessee's dilemma. It also highlights the farce that is the Mortgage Code and its referneces to "transparency"..

This is why the first thing you should do is serve a subject access rights notice on them under the Data Protection Act. Review the results and consider your position armed with those facts.

Hope this helps,


-- Lee (, June 09, 1999.

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