Missing House Deeds

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After my ex-husband left me in serious debt I handed the keys of my property back to the Abbey National in August 1994. We had originally bought the proprty for 37,500 in 1991. I believed the MIG I took out at the time of purchase would cover any shortfall, or that was what I was led to believe! In November 2000 I received a letter from DLA Solicitors informing me that I owed 30,000 and that the house was sold for 14,500 at auction in December 1994 just four months after repossesion even though the house was left in good repair! They sent me a very basic breakdown of costs where the interest seems very high considering the quick sale. I asked if the Mig had been activated and was told it had but the Abbey were pursuing me on behalf of the insurers?!! The latest state of play is that I asked to see the mortgage deeds, in reply they sent me a copy of the mortgage application form and a copy of the MIRAS application form neither of which prove we actually took the mortgage out. I wrote again and was told that as the property was sold for cash at auction they no longer had any access to the deeds so I presume they have no copies either. This is how things stand. They have asked me to phone their office which I haven't done, they have also threatened court action if I didn't reply within 10 days, I told DLA that considering it has taken their clients six years to pursue me the least they could do was give me time to take my own advice! Any advice or comments would be welcome, where do I stand on the position of the elusive house deeds and where do they stand on being unable to provide these? Thanks, Trish

-- Trish Urmston (Trish5493@aol.com), March 23, 2001


You've done very well to stay off the phone. Have a good look around the site, there's lots here to assist. Where to start?

There are a number of strands to this: 1. The sale and the sale value 2. Costs and interest incurred 3. Your ex. Was the property in joint names? Are they pursuing him? 4. The house deeds issue. to name but a few.

I can only talk about items 1&2, which came up when I went through this mill.

1. I queried, in some detail, the way my property was marketed and sold by the Building Society (BS). 1.1 They are legally bound to seek the best price etc etc, but are so crap at this that often you can make considerable headway by querying how they went about selling. Did they do any market research? how many surveyors did they use? etc etc The SARN approach on the Abbey would definitely be worthwhile here. 1.2 When they sell a property, if they know where you live they have to write to you and tell you, also revealing details of the buyer, the price etc etc. I'm assuming they didn't and this also is a legal obligation on their side. 2. Costs and Interest. 2.1 You are entitled to a complete breakdown on the figure they owe you, including a full printout of the mortgage account. 2.2 You can then query the value-for-money on various aspects. 2.3 Interest on the capital can often be discounted on the basis that they didn't write to you six years ago asking for the shortfall ergo they can't claim interest on it, on the bass that you didn't know you owed it to them. Jon in Alderley Edge (solicitor referred to on the site) has had some success with this argument.

You're welcome to email me direct if you like although I'm on holiday next week. Im fairly local as well (Prestwich).

Regards & Happy Hunting


-- Andy Turner (andy.turner@ramesys.com), March 23, 2001.

The mortgage deed (with terms & conditions) is presumably the contract between you and the lender. It is under an alleged term in the contract that lenders like Abbey claim to be able to pursue ex borrowers for alleged 'shortfalls', even up to 12 years after repossession. You have, in my opinion, every right to be shown this contract.

I would keep asking to see a copy of the deed, and ask why the lender disposed of the original.

I think you have hit on an important point.

You might also wish to read the part of the 'Repossession' section on 'why lenders refuse to supply documents', to understand why this might be the case.

I have never known one of Abbey's agents (in this case DLA) disclose MIG-related information like this before - well done, you. What did you actually ask them, and what was their reply? It might help the rest of us make some headway in this area!

all best,

-- Eleanor Scott (eleanor.scott@btinternet.com), March 31, 2001.

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