Abbey National - what to do next? : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread


In February 1991, I voluntarily handed back the keys to a property under the advice of the building society, as I could no longer keep up the payments on it.

It was purchased by a friend and myself equally approximately 18 months previous but my friend then decided to move on and purchase another house with his new partner leaving myself to try and cover the mortgage payments and/or replace him on the mortgage. With the financial climate as it was and after several consultations with the building society, this was not possible and so the voluntary repossession took place.

The property was eventually resold but there was a shortfall in monies which the building society as me for. I replied at the time, informing them that we paid an indemnity insurance for such events and that they should seek their loses through those channels and that if I heard nothing further I will consider the matter closed!!

In August 1999, some 8 1/2 years later a law firm acting on behalf of the building society wrote to my father, asking him for the shortfall. He obviously contacted them to explain that they had made a mistake and now it seems to have closed that chapter.

In November 1999, the same law firm wrote to my friend asking him for the shortfall to which he initially contacted them by phone assuming it had nothing to do with him. It was further explained to him by letters that he was still liable and they continued to write to him for a further 6 months (approx). Each letter threatening court proceedings etc, if he did not pay up or make some kind of financial commitment. We know this, because some early letters were opened by him. He is not presently in this country but has a house here, which he rents out and that's the address they have used. All others letters were sent back, "not known at this address" and the chasing appears to have stopped.

It is now my turn. I have received my first two letters which remain un-opened, both dated November 2000 and I am uncertain as to what to do next. I have been reading the website:, which explains a great deal but does not seem to answer these questions:

1. Although they have finally found me under my Name, Rate, Service Number and Works Address (we are both still in the armed forces), SHOULD I CONTACT THEM?

2. Having found me what would the implications be, should I simply return the letters marked, "return to sender"? What would be their next step?

3. Should I seek legal advice at this stage, if so who would you recommend?

4. What would happen if I just ignored the letters?

5. I understand this debt can be chased for 12 twelve years (can you confirm this?) But if I do not contact them within the next 2 1/2 years, will the debt be cleared and written off? Or can it remain live because they have begun the recovery of it within the 12 years even though there has been no confirmation of contact?

Obviously it goes without saying, my friend and I are not in a position to pay any settlement and considering our insurance indemnity policy why should we be liable.

Any help or advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

-- Lucy Annette Smith (, November 20, 2000



It's actually far from clear if the six year or the twelve year rule applies in cases where the mortgage deed is quite old. When was your mortgage deed drafted? 1989?

Whatever you do, put Abbey to 'strict proof' of the claim. Do not admit the debt, and do not agree to settle (in my opinion) until they have proved to you and your friend that you do indeed have a liabilty for a debt. This is your right.

Ask to see a copy of the mortage deed. Ask to see a copy of the MIG. If Abbey says no, ask youselves why. Read the HRP (this site), especially the Repossession section, to help yourselves ask 'Why'.

Don't forget, Abbey would have to supply this docmentation should it ever issue a writ against you.

There might also be an issue of estoppel (see further up this thread.)

Also, don't let Abbey invade your privacy. There have been reports of some lenders contacting people at work, especially Service Personnel, presumably to try to embarrass them into making offers of settlement quickly. I find this, personally, quite disgusting. I would like to see a few of the lenders' directors getting off their backsides and trying active service.

Keep in touch with Q&A. Either this thread or start a new one.

Good luck.

Good luck.

-- Eleanor Scott (, November 26, 2000.

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