duress in signing a remortgage

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

A friend tells me that reluctantly she was persuaded to co-sign remortgage papers to "support" her husband's business. She was never told of her husband's business situation during her marriage, nor was it made known to her when she signed the remortgage papers that her house would be at risk. This may seem to some as being naive but she actually is naive. When her husband was subsequently made bankrupt it was the first she knew of any financial problems. Her husband no longer lives with her and she and her two children now face the prospect of being homeless.

She informs me also that at the meeting where she signed the documents the only people present were a bank official, herself and her husband.

The company officials who are now pressing for repossession have been qizzed by my friend's solicitor over these events but strangely they seem to have lost my friend's file with all the details in it. So they cannot reply.

I read in the press a couple of years ago about a similar case that was brought to court and the wife "won". I can't remember any of the details to pass on the my friend.

Any advice on the court case,or about the situation as outlined above would be gratefully received.

Rob Comer

-- robert comer (robertcomer@yahoo.com), August 16, 1999


The case you are referring to is "Barclays Bank v O'Brien" a House of Lords case from 1993. It was a landmark case which had the potential to help a lot of women. Since then the courts have chipped away at the legal principles in this case - so it's quite complicated.

If your friend wants to defend the possession proceedings, then she will need to seek advice from a solicitor as soon as possible.

-- Sue Edwards (sue.edwards@nacab.org.uk), September 13, 1999.

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