greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

Can anyone tell me what the procedure and time allowances are that must be followed by lenders with regards to transferring documentation to microfilm/microfiche.

The reason I ask is because my ex-lender's solicitor sent me a illegible copy of a survey when I requested it. I said it was not acceptable so they sent me another which wasn't as bad (don't know why they couldn't have sent this one first time round). They said the reason why it still wasn't so brilliant is because when a repossessed property is sold, all papers are then transferred to microfilm/fiche and the quality of these are poor.

Surely there must be a time policy they must follow when transferring documents to poor quality fiche records. Especially when a house is repossessed, you would think that the paperwork would be required more than ever, especially by the lender to substantiate their claim of shortfall.

I was wondering if the solicitors had just told me something that maybe they shouldn't have? I do get the impression that they aren't too keen to let me see the documents that they base their claim on as pages have been witheld from the survey.

(I've served a SARN and requested copies of deeds etc and the complete survey but it would be useful to know if they are 'playing by the rules').

-- (bev100@genie.co.uk), September 07, 2001


This is speculation (educated !) on my part but...

Firstly, it may well be company policy that after, say, 10 years documents are transferred to microfiche. Who cares ? Nothing to do with anyone else except the company concerned. However, it's not a legal requirement - what *IS* a legal requirement is that they substantiate their claim that you owe them X number of pounds...

If they transferred the documents to microfiche, and these are now illegible, then how on earth can they prove (note PROVE) that you owe this money ? Perhaps they claim their staff all have infallible memories and can remember your mortgage application when it was approved. Even so, that isn't PROOF in the eyes of the court. As has been pointed out many times before, the onus is on the lender to prove the debt, not on you to prove it doesn't exist.

Whatever you do keep those illegible copies they have sent you. Under the disclosure rules they shouldn't suddenly produce documentation that you have had no access to when in court. If you can show the judge that their paperwork is intelligible and yours isn't then he (the judge) is not going to be a happy bunny.

More to the point, WHY are these documents unintelligible ? Maybe they don't want you to see what's on them because it would undermine their claim.

In any event I would stick to your guns and keep plugging away demanind proof of the debt. Personally, it sounds as if, as ever, they have a shaky case...so I don't think it'll go to court.

-- Chris (chrsh@hotmail.com), September 09, 2001.

Having worked in a deeply boring job for several years (in the bad old days when I had a burgeoning mortgage) transferring documents to microfilm and fiche for a large company, I have to say that the whole point of the exercise is to preserve the documents in a clear, readable condition. These processes produce photographic images of the documents, so if your copies are illegible it's either because the original copies are illegible too (in which case, as the previous answer says, your lender may have trouble if they're using them as their proof of the debt) or, more sinisterly, the lender is trying to prevent you seeing the details of the documents (which would look even worse in court!)

-- Melody (mbc109@york.ac.uk), September 11, 2001.

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