Halifax to repossess soon - help needed!

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

I bought a flat in 1990 on an equity share basis with the builder. In 1994 I moved in with my partner and our young child. I sought and obtained the Halifax's permission to let out my flat as it was in substantial negative equity. After a good few years of successful lets I had the mistfortune last year to meet the biggest con artist I have ever met. She rented my flat from me after being recommended to me by a local housing agency. I didn't take a deposit or any money up front from her. To be honest the flat was in need of redecoration and the carpets needed cleaning but I didn't have the money to do this so was only too happy to have someone move in and start paying the rent straight away. All was well the first month - I received a cheque from the housing benefits department. However the following month I received nothing. I contacted my tenant about this and she told me that she had started work and was claiming working tax credit so needed to complete a new claim form for the housing benefit people. At this point I was almost 40 weeks' pregnant - it was coming up to the Christmas period so I thought no more about it and paid the mortgage myself in December. However, come January it became obvious that something was amiss. I contacted the housing benefit department who told me that she was not entitled to benefit any longer as she received too much working tax credit and wages. Not only were they not paying anything in future but they were not going to pay the arrears either. I have been going around in circles trying to get her to pay up but she has changed her phone number and I believe that I can be done for harassment if I go to the property without making a prior appointment. To cut a long story short I have ended up taking her to Court to get her evicted. It cost me #120 on the 22nd Februaryto apply for an accelerated posssesion order but to date still haven't received it. I have kept the Halifax informed every step of the way but they have now told me that because I am in 3 months arrears and cannot pay this back until 1) I get her out and get a new tenant in or 2) I go back to work in August - they cannot wait that long and are instructing their solicitors to commence legal proceedings. How come the law can protect the tenant - she has been asked if two weeks notice of eviction will cause her severe hardship and she has said yes - severe financial hardship - it really is a joke - of course it will cause her severe financial hardship - she will have to start paying rent at the new place! But the law cannot protect me? I have had this mortgage for 10 years and although I have started repaying the capital - the original mortgage was for #38,600 - it is now down to about #33,000 - the flats are still only sselling for about #34,000. And I would still have to pay the builder his 20% which at the time was about #9K. I don'tknow whether to fight the Halifax or give up completely. Any suggestions would be gratefully received. Also, could you tell what if any the knock on effect would be for my partner - he is the sole owner of the property where I now live but he is deperately worried that this can come back on him in some way.

-- Sherry McMullan (sherry@mcmullans.freeserve.co.uk), March 19, 2000

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