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Following the breakup of my relationship with my ex partner and the voluntary reposession of our home, I have not heard anything at all from the building society in question ( Northern Rock ) This happened approx.4 years ago, I am now in a new relationship and about 4 months ago, I received a letter from a firm of solicitors, acting on behalf of Northern Rock, advising me of a shortfall of 15,000 ( This being the first I had ever heard of any shortfall whatsover ) I have not replied to any letters, I have also had a couple of "funny" phone calls, of what appeared to be information gathering type. I today received a letter saying that a licensed credit counsellor would be calling at our home. Could anybody advise me on what I should do next, if anything, and also what should my new partner do, if somebody does come knocking on the door, any advise at all would be very much appreciated.

-- (chiggyh@aol.com), August 11, 2001


OK, the first thing is not to panic !

1. You should immediately serve SARNs on both Northern Rock and the firm of solicitors. Send recorded delivery. Look around this site for detailed advice on how to write a SARN letter.

2. On no account speak to anyone about this on the telephone. If they do phone you, say that you will only correspond with them by letter.

3. You should ask them to explain how they arrive at the figure of 15,000...you need to see valuations (more than one), legal costs, the amount of money the raised through the sale of the flat and so on.

4. If someone does come calling, refuse them entry, and refuse to speak to them, no matter who they are or how friendly they seem. It is important that this person will be sent by the solicitors and is working for them - they will be out to collect as much information about you as they can. If they refuse to go away, call the police (this is both trespass and harrassment).

5. Come back here often, and let us know how you're getting on. You'll find that although this all seems very alarming it soon becomes almost routine. Remember that they don't want to take you to court, despite what they may say. If it does go to court, it is by no means certain that they will win their case...

6. Good Luck !

-- Chris (chrsh@hotmail.com), August 11, 2001.

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