chased for #50k after 7 years, will i lose my new house? : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

I'm being chased 7 years after i handed the keys in, and ive just bought a house and i really dont want to lose it again. The building soc is abbey national, the indemnity solicitors are Eversheds. The flat was reposessed in 1992 when i handed the keys in. I thought i'd be ok as i had indemnity insurance. Then in Feb 99 i got a letter from eversheds demanding i contact them immediately regarding the debt of #55k, and a long list of how they arrived at that sum. This included 2 years interest before they sold the flat in '94, then they sold it for #30k when it had been valued in 1990 at #80k. It was in very good condition. I had the next letter a week later demanding i contact them urgently, and mentioning taking me to court. The third letter was again a week later. I got some debt advice saying that i shouldn't speak to eversheds or contact them as this would mean i accepted liability, so i haven't. A local free solicitor has written to them for me saying i'm not liable as its past 6 years since the reposession, but it seems unclear whether this is true. He also sent a "without prejudice" letter offering them #500 final settlement. We've now had various off the wall exchanges when eversheds say they'll accept #25000, then #8000, and now #15000 (!!). I cant get anything like these amounts together, so now they say they'll take proceedings against me. Im applying for legal aid. Its hard to believe any of this is happening just as i was getting on my feet again after all these years struggling. I don't want to lose my new house. Any advice or suggestions? I'd like to hear from anyone else in a similar position. email me on weeks. I'm self employed at the moment earning about #7-8k pa. I've just bought a house which i really don't want to lose. (I suspect that this is how they got on to me.) I did a financial statement thing with the solicitor which shows my outgoings exceed my income. I'd really like to know what other people have settled for, and if other people have made the 6 year rule stick, and if other people haven't managed to settle so have got an ongoing debt dragging them down indefinately. And I'd like to know what i should do next! Let me know if you need any more info. I look forward to hearing from you. -- Indigo

-- indigo (, July 20, 1999


Good old Abbey - what a nice bunch they are!!! Seen the latest advert about the guy who wants to keep his hair?..........

They bought my re-possession debt from another lender - a central bank after I was quite obviously stitched up by a complete git of a financial advisor. I am faced with court action in 2 weeks and have to now make an offer as my barrister has told me that the letters I originally wrot to my lender -C.I.B.C had been used as evidence that iI have admitted liabitliy. Very correct advice you were givien - NEVER enter into any dialogue with any lender if problems occur - my own letters asking for help are now primary evidence apparently acceptable by the judges of this land to make judgements against us!

The 6 year rule....I tripped up on that too. Apparently I should have been able to escape from this but for the tiny fact that a short time after I handed back my keys I sent them a payment to cover my buildings insurance. Thinking that I was behaving in an honourable adult way I was concerned about my responsibility for the property. What a joke!!! Apparently that re-starts the limitations clock so remember folks - in this country it pays to be dishonest and a cheat. You are rewarded for this so I am practising!!!

Good luck and keep us posted


-- (, July 20, 1999.

Hello again - it's me. I forgot to comment on your guestions about settlement amounts. Abbey claim that I owe them about the same as you - funny how it startd off at some 32000 in 1992 but - oh yes - they sold my house for about 25000 less than it was worth with a little help from Black Horse Agencies and the good old Halifax who made a great play of writting memos back and forth under the quise of getting "best offers" My solicitor agrees these letters are a sham but we cannot prove it can we and would the judge care anyway? They actually sold my 3 bedroomed detatched house on the foot of the south downs for 62000 to a first time buyer - I reckon it was a relation to someone in one of the agencies or maybe a friend of a judge somewhere!!!

However - back to the subject of how much will they accept. I have been told that they will probably take about max 5%. The costs of them taking people to court are not in their interests as even if they get a jusgement against you you will probably not be able to pay the costs. (Please correct me if I am wrong Lee) I am at present having to give a starting figure to my solicitor to offer Abbey. I actually live on a widows pension and have two depedant children and do not have any spare money. I thought they were supposed to be the negotiators but apparently we have to tell them what we "can come up with" I said nothing and he wrote back saying that I had to give him a figure.........very baffling. So what I will do to put the poor man out of his misery is say - 3000 to start with. I havn't got it but apprently that does not matter as they will probably have you in hoc for the rest of your life....or maybe just go away!!!

Lee - please tell us who you would rather manage negotiations for you - a debt counseller or a solicitor? I have been advised to find a debt counsellor as solicitors just talk the talk and write expensive letters and I know mine is much to busy dealing with medical negligence cases - much more lucrative and exciting than my repossession. However I am completely dazed and do not know what is right.

Best wishes again and keep your sunny side up. One day we will all get together and celebrate - and believe me - we WILL find something good comes out of all this.


-- (, July 20, 1999.

You cannot offer money you have not got change solicitors for a start and yes debt counsellors can be very good like the local welfare rights in your town hall or CAB the 6 year rule ,if you had officially handed in the keys why were you paying and why did they accept your insurance money? when they bought your debt how long did it take them to contact you what pressure did they put you under-did you have legal advice at the time ,many questions on this one and more thought required to there answers


charles twford

-- charles.twford (, July 20, 1999.

There's lots of questions in there but the key ones are:

What do I do next? Answer is: read the web-site's repossession section in full. I've brain-dumped everything I know in there. Then serve the two Subject Access Rights notices on the lender.

Debt counsellor v solicitor? Answer: for me personally, neither. I'd fight it myself and go to a solicitor for clarification of issues I don't understand and for court procedure advice, just possibly for court representation too.

Amount they'll settle for? Answer: Varies. 5% isn't unrealistic. Use the shortfall claim advisor in the Help section of the page to get the best estimate as I understand it. Remember that the "advisor" assumes you lose completely, most times cases don't go totally against the alleged debtor.

In my opinion the best thing anyone can do is decide whether to lose by not fighting or to lose (but possibly win) by fighting. (By and large, it doesn't significantly alter the amount you'll pay in the end - because you'll pay what you have).

If you go for the fight: 1. read the Bradford & Bingley sequence of shortfall claim letters, 2. serve SAR's on the lender, 3. absolutely restrict any other responses to politely requesting the same information as the Bradford & Bingley customer did, 4. shrug off threats of court action (civil court is dispute resolution not a criminal prosecution), 5. be prepared to receive a writ, 6. when (if - and it's a big if) you receive a writ, READ IT! (especially the time limits information) 7. Then act: if they flogged the house too cheaply, serve a negligence counterclaim. If they appear to have messed up in another way: serve a negligence counterclaim. If it's over six years, simultaneously "defend" on the six year rule. 8. Prepare for "Discovery" - that part of the pre-hearing process that lenders find so strangely unsettling.

Chances are it will not get beyond point 4 but if it does it's unlikely to get beyond point 8. If you don't understand why, you haven't read the web-site properly.

I am not qualified to give advice. I merely publish the information I have accumulated in the hope that it can be of benefit.

Hope this helps.


-- Lee (, July 21, 1999.

To - Charles Twyford who kndly indirectly replied to my debt collector versus solicitor question.

I have been advised by a barrister that if I go to court with this I will most likely lose. Even though I was never told about to sale of my property or the price or anything else - they even took my endowment without telling me. They had a forwarding address (my mothers) so there was no excuse not to keep me informed. The barrister reckons that the 6 year rule would be up this September and that is why they are pressing me for a conclusion.

No I have'nt got the money but today I faxed my solicitor and said that he could offer some 1500 as I have some space left on a cuple of credit cards. I do not think that Abbey will be allowed to take anything out of my widow's pension as that is held in trust and would not be allowed (but who knows what these companies are allowed to do.

Does anyone remember the survey done by the Sunday Times years ago about negative equity and house repossessions? I wonder if they would like to follow up on some of us that replied to their survey or whether they would like to get involved with our very human interst story - or better still - how about aproaching th Observer Group...adverse publicity sometimes works wonders.

I faxed a few articles about Abbey I copied from the webb page to my solicitor last night - I will let you know his comments.


-- (, July 21, 1999.

Thank you for sending me further details

The Question re your Endowment? if they took this without your knowledge you must on Monday contact the P.I.A personal investment authority as this is regulated by them (Unlike Mortgages at present) and needs further investigation!

Using your credit cards are not the answer as this puts you further into Debt and also you will be paying a very high interest rate on your card loan !

You need the advise i mentioned early on this problem please keep me informed


Charles Twford

-- Charles.twford (, July 23, 1999.

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