Halifax-Offer for settlement

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

A while ago I posted on this forum that ,after recieving my sarn info from the Halifax,I found evidence that they had witheld my property from sale for 2 years with a veiw to leasing it to a housing company. After much to-ing and fro-ing of banter with their solicitors I presented them woth my findings.After quite a while I have ,Today, recieved a letter from them explaining that after much consideration ,they admit my findings and are prepared to knock off the total amount of costs incurred during the period between repo and sale, some £5700.As a further good will gesture they are prepared to accept £5000 as a full and final payment for the remaining £27000 to 'more than offset the interest incurred'. Am i right in saying that now that they have admitted thier mistake that this case will not be able to go to court because they will have no firm figures concerning sales or dates? Also if they had sold the property when they could have,then the voluntary 6 year period would have passed 2 years ago,is this worth persuing?Now that they are on the run should i offer a full and final payment of say£800 or hold out to try and get the debt written off completly? Any comments gratefully recieved Thankyou in advance

-- Nope (No@no.com), July 26, 2002


I would be very interested to hear how the HALIFAX actually described their actions in writing in your case. Was it "An error" or "A mistake" or similar. I'm getting a feeling of Deja Vu here. The HALIFAX described their actions in my case very similarly. After taking advice their actions were actually deemed as being "grossly negligent" and I was advised to counterclaim. In my own opinion if you were to make any settlement it would merely get them off the hook. In my experience based on my case I would advise that you also get a good solicitor to look over to look into the negligence aspect of this, especially as they have admitted liability for their "mistake" in writing.

Good Luck

-- Tony Hayter (Tony@Hayter.com), July 26, 2002.

Only if you can prove that the remaining £10000 of the shortfall was not valid would I hold out to try and get the debt written off completly. If you think that they have any justification in claiming any of this then I would try offering a full and final settlement figure of what you feel comfortable with (you mentioned £800), as a gesture of goodwill to settle this matter, whilst not admitting any liability. Make sure you put 'without predjudice' on your letter, and I found that giving them a time limit in which to accept (say 2 weeks) worked for us. I don't know if Tony is a solicitor or has shares in a solictors practice but he seems awfully keen on getting them involved. In my experience their costs outway any benefit. Maybe he can tell us that he's experience is different. That a solictor managed to settle his dispute and obtain him compensation in the process?

-- (von6@uboot.com), July 26, 2002.

Hi Von,

My real name by the way IS Tony Hayter.

No I am not a solicitor and I do not have shares in any solicitors practice. I have been fighting the Halifax for over four years,look back in this forum and you'll see plenty threads that I have contributed. I notice you state "In my experience their costs outway any benefit". Just what is that experience?

The spate of "Don't go to a solicitor - they're costly - settle instead" messages on this forum lately is rather disturbing.

I still advise the original poster of this thread to go to a solicitor and get advice on the "error" as to whether it could actually be negligence. A solicitor's appraisal of a situation does not cost the earth and in my case was less than 300 pounds and believe me in my case it was money very well spent!

Oh and by the way always suspect "Good Will" from a lender - that IS based on my personal experience with the Halifax.

-- Tony Hayter (Tony@Hayter.com), July 26, 2002.

I forgot to mention that my fight with the Halifax is still ongoing. I have claimed that they are guilty of Gross Negligence in the undervaluing, undermarketing and underselling of my repossessed property and on advice have submitted a claim to them based on that fact. I am still awaiting their latest response.

-- Tony Hayter (Tony@Hayter.com), July 26, 2002.

Tony I do voluntary work in the housing sector and try to help people obtain a decent home in which to live. I don't want to give too much detail but I am a professionally qualified person who has helped certain friends/associates who have found themselves in difficulties. I have helped one get a settlement of £1k on £12k within a two month timescale. Encouraged another to get a settlement rather than continue paying the £360 per year, which they'd been paying for 6 years. They agreed £4k on a balance of £25k (this person had assets and the value of the property had fallen in value). These two people paid no fees to anyone to get thier settlements. I know of someone else who felt that going down the solictor route was better, because solictors know more. They ended up spending £12k, yes £12k on solicitors fees, it took 18 months and they eventually agreed a settlement close to the original settlement offer. Whilst I don't want to knock you I note that so far your case has been going on for 4 years, you have spent £300 on solicitor fees and you still haven't settled. I rest my case. I feel all the information you need to settle can be found on this excellent site (refer to the options). Good Luck

-- (von6@uboot.com), July 27, 2002.

I must state that I commend voluntary work when udertaken by anyone.

I feel though that my main point is continually being avoided i.e. that a debt must be subject to 'strict proof'. I would not condemn anyone for agreeing a settlement on a proven debt and I'm sure that you would agree that nobody should condone the possible negligent actions of lenders by agreeing to any settlement on an unproven debt. I can therefore only assume that when you helped negotiate these settlements you had confirmed beforehand that the debts in question had been subjected to 'Strict Proof'.

Don't worry, nothing anyone can say will 'knock' me. It has taken four years because I believe I have the strength to fight for justice in my case. It may take many years more but I'm damned if I'll pay a penny on a debt that I believe was totally incurred by the negligent actions of the Halifax! Oh yes, I could choose the soft option and pay them off to leave me alone but look what that attitude has done to erode human rights throughout history. The only way to get justice is find out what your rights are and to then fight for them.

I will now give up responding to this thread because in my view it's inclined to one purpose. I reserve my right though to have continued suspicions about the sudden spate of "I've Settled" - "Congratulations" type messages to this forum.

-- Tony Hayter (Tony@Hayter.com), July 27, 2002.

I'm with Tony on his last comment that there seems to be quite a few "settlement claims" in the last few weeks...suspious !

-- John (sharky_john@hotmail.com), July 27, 2002.

Tony The debt was proven. In fact in the first instance the debt was proven to be more than the £1k. The building society settled because of the persons personal circumstances e.g. living partly on benefits. I believe in standing up for rights, I am always speaking up for those who are less fortunate than myself, but I don't believe in continuing to fight a battle that you will lose. the people Commensense should always prevail. If you believe that you are 100% not responsible for any of your alledged debt then I would say fight on. However the people I've dealt with acknowledge that part of the claims was their responsibility due to falling house prices in the early 90's (they both bought at the height of the market in 1988/9). I won't correspond further as obviously some are suspicious of those who have settled.

-- (von6@uboot.com), July 27, 2002.

I agree with vonBoot here. Feeling hard done by because circumstances have conspired against us to force many of us into unavoidable repossessions is one thing, but lenders do have rights too, and surely are entitled to pursue these rights in a proper and just manner? What many of us here are objecting to is the delay that has occurred between being reposssed and receiving a shortfall claim, together with dodgy dealings involving resale of our property. My own considered view is that in any dispute (this is true in other fields such as politics, contracts etc..) you are seeking the impossible if you hope to resolve a problem through negotiation by total victory. Time and time again I have seen evidence that supports my belief that dispute resolution is as much about 'saving face' as it is about the relative rights involved. Very few people with shortfall claims against them can state honestly that they got to where they are with no fault of their own. What this site does achieve by power of shared experience is knowledge beyond that of most solicitors. Solicitors are selling a service, but they are also part of a very inefficient system for the resolution of dispute, based on largely adversatorial confrontation. My one experience with engaging a solicitor many years ago to fight a dispute with a neighbour led me to the conclusion that I paid several hundreds of pounds for telling me what I already knew. Perhaps the reason why there is an apparent flood of settlements is that more and more of us are putting forward well constructed arguments for the lenders to face. Bearing in mind that the lenders have managed to cover their so called 'losses' with tax deductions, insurances and other devices, they are still quids in if the settlement is relatively modest. Rather than admit liability I would suggest making an offer to settle as a 'goodwill gesture' to allow closure bearing in mind the damage in creditworthiness terms a lender can exact.

-- Gordon Bennet (arsenewhinger@hotmail.com), July 29, 2002.

Sorry Nope, I forgot to add that £800 as a 'Goodwill Gesture' on your part to offer the Halifax a way out of this dispute is a reasonable starting point. They will most likely write back to say that they can't accept this without you filling in an I&E form. In your shoes I would reply to this by saying you will of course comply with any court instruction to give details of your income, repeat your 'goodwill gesture' and remind them of their admission of incompetence in dealing with the re-sale of your property. Make it clear that you are willing to have their negligence examined by a court. I think you will find that they will either accept £800 or offer a reduced figure of their own.

Good luck

-- Gordon Bennet (arsenewhinger@hotmail.com), July 29, 2002.

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