ex-husband gets off scott free, wife and children being harassed by C & Ggreenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread
My husband left me and our four young children in Nov 1991. Unbeknown to me he had ceased mortgage payments some months before because of the pending separation. With a young family my part-time income would not cover the mortgage repayments and I was advised to leave my employment and claim benefit as the DSS would contribute toward the mortgage, and this I reluctantly did. However, and to cut a very long story short, due to the arrears on the mortgage, the DSS payments were unsatisfactory according to the C & G and despite appealing through the courts my home was repossessed by the C & G in 1993. I had therefore now lost my husband, my job and my home, not to mention my pride. In all this time I did not receive any maintenance payments from my ex-husband and was living solely on social security benefits. Approximately six years later I began to receive letters from the C & G concerning the shortfall in the sale of the house, amounting to £30,000. This took me quite by surprise - as far as I was concerned they had taken my house and sold it - if anything I thought they should be paying me! I queried with them firstly why it had taken them so long to approach me on the alleged shortfall and was told that they expect people to 'get back on their feet by this time.' I replied that in order to have £30,000 going spare I would have had to have won the National Lottery. Secondly I queried why they were approaching me solely and not my ex-husband - this they wouldn't comment on. I can only assume that the reason for this is that my ex-husband made himself voluntarily bankrupt shortly after our separation. I have not made any effort to pay anything to C & G and have ignored all their letters. I also received phone calls to my workplace which I consider to be harrassment. I finally lost my temper when they phoned me at work and expected me to discuss the situation when I had a customer standing in front of me. They have not phoned me since but continue writing at least one letter a week. The last letter was received on Saturday 29th June, stating that since I had ignored their previous correspondence they would be sending someone to my home. I have had the worry of this hanging over me all these years while my ex-husband continues with his life worry free, driving around in his brand new van and having 3 or 4 holidays a year! I am now living in a council house with my new partner and although i am able to work full time i am not financially secure by any means and consider the whole situation totally unfair.
-- clare taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 03, 2002
First, let me say I really sypathize with your situation,as I'm sure everyone else will who is connected to this excellent site. I think you should follow the advice on the repo site, read the pages on Repossession and the Do's and Don'ts. You should first get the Building Society to justify their claim against you, make them prove they sold your property for a fair price, issue them with SARNS etc. Try to keep calm and don't let them rattle you. There should be 3 appeal court cases coming up this month, which may help clarify the very unclear legal situation. If you feel you can't cope doing this on your own, give, for example, the National Association of Mortgage Victims a ring. You are not alone, there are plenty of first class people on this site who are willing to give advice and support where they can. Just keep posting up messages if you have any further queries. Good Luck and don't let them get you down.
-- M Amos (email@example.com), July 03, 2002.
Apart from one or two minor differences, I could have written your post. My situation is identical - and my Lender is also in full harrassment mode, but after several years silence. Follow the advice on the site and try not to let them upset you or intimidate you. The way I look at it now is that I have nothing left to lose by standing up to the bullies - that is, after all, what some of them (allegedly) are. I know I dread the post every day again, and it makes me furiously angry to think that Lenders sit there and watch abandoned spouses (especially with kids) slowly rebuild their lives - to only then hit them with this. C&G you should be ashamed of your selves.
-- Too scared to say (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 03, 2002.
I forgot to add I'm not sure what the situation is as regards your ex- husband, perhaps someone else can advise you on that?
-- M Amos (email@example.com), July 03, 2002.
I would suggest that for starters you read through the information on the website and get an idea of what others have been through, how the lenders act and react against you and how you can deal with this.
Unfortunately, when couples have split up, lenders tend to chase whoever they can find first, or whoever they think they've a chance of getting money out of. It has been known for a lender to chase and get money out of one party and then go after the other.
You say that your husband hasn't made any maintenance payments and that he had also been bankrupt. Usually bankruptcy lasts for 3 years, sometimes less and the person can then start again with a clean slate. As far as I am aware, if a bankrupt is liable for maintenance payments, then those payments still have to be made.
I would suggest that you get in touch with a solicitor, someone who's on the Law Society's Family Lawyers panel, so you have a specialist and get the maintenance sorted out. It doesn't matter if your ex doesn't see his children, or that you've got a new partner, he is responsible for those children. You may be able to get an order to have his wage deducted to pay you if it really comes to that.
You can't avoid dealing with the repossession now that C&G know where to find you. I would suggest that you write a letter to them asking for a fully detailed completion statement along with copy invoices/receipts from any third parties involved, so that will include estate agents, building repair companies, insurers and so on. You don't need to refer to their other letters, just ask for the statement. As they'll have your home address details, they have no reason to contact you at work, if they continue to do so, stress that any contact must be in writing and to your home address only, if they still continue then its harrassment and you can do something about it.
I very much doubt that the lender will send someone to your home. At this stage, they are just asking for the money, there is no court judgement or money judgement order against you (I'm assuming). There is no proof that you owe them anything. If someone does turn up on your doorstep, refuse to discuss the matter, say that you are dealing with the lender directly and that they are to leave your property immediately. If they refuse, then say you will call the police - and do it.
You're not obliged to provide the lender or their representatives with any personal information about yourself, your partner or your finances, no matter what they imply. The lender must prove their claim, so you need do nothing else until you get that completion statement, then come back to the discussion board and let us know what's in it.
-- pendle (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 03, 2002.
My fiance's situation has some similarities to yours in that while he was at work she was spending the mortgage money on herself and her 'friend'. She is now married to the man, does not work and nor does he. My fiance has 3 children and the money he pays is deducted at source as she is on benefit and he has no say or control over it so you definitely should be receiving money from your ex-husband. The shortfall is for £38,000. When I came across this site Hammonds, Suddards & Edge were contacting him on a daily basis, letters arriving every Friday just in time for the weekend, phone calls every single day etc. etc. Following the advice on this site I composed a letter on his behalf which I will be more than happy to help you do the same, to the solicitors asking them not to contact him at work, and for some other information. It took Bradford & Bingley 3 months to answer that letter. I then composed a second letter in March of this year and he is still awaiting a response, now been four months. We did serve a SARN (more information about these on the site) on B&B and discovered that almost everything the solicitor had said was false. He had advised by telephone he was not passing letters to B&B when in actual fact all the solicitor does is compose letters on their behalf so please do not be intimidated by the solicitors it is all standard stuff for them. I still have a whole load of questions to ask the Building Society, so please realise you are not alone. I have come to realise that if the majority of victims got together on this site they could probably compare letters almost word for word so they are not targetting you personally just 'doing a job' if that's a fair term for it. You say they did not contact you for approx 6 years, I would double check that they were not out of time from when the property was repossessed, especially if they are a member of the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Good luck to everyone and thank you for all of your support.
-- Chris (email@example.com), July 04, 2002.
In addition to the excellent advice above Clare, I would suggest that when you have obtained copies of the documentation your lender holds about this claim, you pay particular attention to the Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee (MIG) payout (assuming that there was a MIG policy taken out by your lender).
If the date of any MIG payout to the lender is more than six years ago then it may very well be the case that this portion of the lenders claim is now statute barred under the 1980 Limitations Act.
There is still legal uncertainty over this issue and forthcoming Appeal Court cases may or may not clarify matters so keep an eye on this site for updates in the next few weeks.
-- Gordon Bennet (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2002.