Limitation Act - when do "Proceedings" start ? : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

I defaulted on joint mortgage 1989. Being chased for MIG of 22k by RSA. (Their solicitors: Curtis). Letters to and from collections agency and solicitors between 1998 and 2002. I did not acknowledge debt or make payments. Under the Act, as I understand it, they have 12 years to sue (or, depending on which research source you read) "commence proceedings". Are these one and the same ? Do they have 12 years to write to me or 12 years to get an official court summons ?

Heard nothing since September 2002. (Which even by my rubbish maths is 13 years post-default).

Advice as to whether this will remain with me for ever or whether I will ever be free will be most welcome.

Original lender: Halifax MIG: R@SA Solicitors: Curtis Collection Agency: Bradstones


-- Richard Powell (, May 11, 2003


I would say that you are in clear. Wait until they contact you again then politely advise them that they are time barred from persuing this in court or words to that effect ! Good luck

-- John (, May 12, 2003.

Richard, Under the Limitation Act 1980 the lender or insurance company (the latter under rights of subrogation) have 12 years (6 years for interest) to commence proceedings/sue you or take legal proceedings, it's the same. The 12 years usually run from the 2nd or 3rd default on the mortgage payments (Bristol & West v Bartlett), but you need to check the terms and conditions in your mortgage to be sure, it can vary. There are a couple of other important points. Firstly, the other party to the mortgage can acknowledge the alleged shortfall for both by making a part payment towards the shortfall. Secondly, if an MJO has been issued they can, in theory, chase you indefinitely. I would respectfully suggest you read previous postings as all this and more has already been covered many times. If you have any further questions just post them up. Good Luck.


-- M Amos (, May 12, 2003.

Hi Richard,

Further to the already excellent advice given on this site and which I totally respect I must however state that even though my fiance's ex-wife has paid towards the debt (albeit about £5 four year's ago) they are treating his and her finances separately, and my fiance is sticking with some advice a barrister friend gave us that the wording of the Limitations Act is very bad.

Sent this letter back in October of last year when they accused my ex- fiance of not advising of his current address and have heard nothing since:

Dear Ms. XXXX,

Reference your letter XX/XXX/XXXXX. I find your letter rather perturbing as I have been in contact with your client, via Hammonds Suddards Edge at the above address for over 12 months now. I served a Subject Access Rights Notification upon your client in November 2001 which I duly received and to my horror included documentation pertaining to my former wife’s income and expenditure, something which goes very much beyond the boundaries of the Data Protection Act and upon which, I understand, she is currently undertaking complaints procedures. Mr. X’s letter, reference XXX/XXX and dated 25th February 2002 was sent to my current residence, and duly responded to on 7th March 2002 and this made my position regarding the alleged debt completely clear, therefore I am at a loss as to your second paragraph which is completely irrelevant in regards to my circumstances. I suggest your client checks their records as I do believe that I am consistently being confused with my former wife, someone with whom I have had no dealings with on a financial basis for many years now and am concerned that my own personal and confidential dealings are being joined with hers, something I insist on not occurring as I have never admitted or paid towards the alleged debt. Please refer to my previous correspondence, a copy of which I will forward should this be necessary and to the following 12 month’s of correspondence, some of which took place via my solicitor but all at the above, and same, residence. Many thanks for your kind attention.

It will be 12 year's next Summer since the property was vacated and if we do hear from the BSociety before this will continue to make the stand that he has never acknowledged/admitted this debt.

-- Chris (, May 13, 2003.


I'm of the opinion if it works use it. However, the info on acknowledgements I gave comes from a NACAB solicitor and a barrister. I also recently received some disturbing news from Simon Wiggins of that now, given a recent court case, an ex partner can acknowledge the debt not only by making a part payment, but also by a written acknowledgement. I'm waiting to get the name of the relevant case. I hope it's wrong.


-- M Amos (, May 13, 2003.

I absolutely agree with you Mark. It seems that what works for one person/victim does not work for another but following advice on this site has definitely helped my fiance. We live to fight another day at the moment but who knows....

Will keep you updated if/when anything occurs.

-- Chris (, May 13, 2003.

I do hope that Simon has given you misinformation Mark.

Whilst it doesnt affect my situation I can see many cases where an ex partner, who will never be chased legally, could either spitefully or with intent to blackmail could pay or threaten to pay £1 every few years and keep the case alive.


-- Sue (, May 13, 2003.

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