Halifax - do I have a case for underselling?

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I'm currently being pursued by the Halifax for a shortfall of over 20,000. I served a SARN on them as recommended on this site and have found a number of facts that I believe are evidence of mis-selling...

1. The property was sold for 6750 (against a mortgage of 23,500!) which they justified because of low demand in the area... such low demand that a bid was accepted within TWO WEEKS of the property being put on the market.

2. It appears to have been sold in a sort of auction, with 3-4 bidders supplying sealed bids - is this normal?

3. I have repeatedly asked for marketing material, such as Estate Agents info, without success.

4. The said Estate Agents, Halifax (conveniently!) charged 940 fees on the sale - broken down as 2% of sale price, subject to a minimum of 900!

5. There seems to have been only one valuation made before selling

There are a number of other discrepancies including payment in advance of a 6 month service charge bill 2 months AFTER the property was repossessed, which the Halifax claim we should pay, but I feel the above points are the most interesting.

So... can anyone tell me if the above info is important enough to pursue? They have been VERY evasive on the above points and seem extremely reluctant to provide me with the sales literature I requested - to the point where I am beginning to wonder if it was ever actually placed on the open market.

Hope someone can advise...


-- Ron (ronmac39@hotmail.com), June 05, 2003


It might help if you can show that other houses (identical or very similiar) were sold around the same period for more than yours. If your home was on an estate or street where the specifications are similiar this should/could support your claim. To do this you can contact Land Registry, give them details and they will for a small fee give you a list of all the properties they have registered at a apecific 6 moth period. So if your home was sold in July, get them to check 6 months either side of that date. With a bit of luck it might throw up an address with the same/similiar type of house sold for a higher price.

If you want to know who actually bought your home you can check the voters roll on 192.com.

My understanding is that lenders have to do their utmost to get the best price for reposessed properties, but as we all know from this site, this is very rarely the case. But the problem is proving at and finding someone who will listen.

You must sign the e petition and contact your MP/MSP to help raise awareness.

Re unsubtantiated bill for services...you must write and ask for full details and as always make it clear you are not admitting any liability for the alleged debt.

Good Luck


-- moira (Anderston828@aol.com), June 05, 2003.


6750!!! Firstly, we're lacking a certain amount of info to be able to advise. When did you first default on the mortgage? When was the property repossessed? What date was the property sold? When did the lender first contact you? When did they advise you of the sale price?

What I suggest you do is have a look at the CML web page (I think Halifax are members but you need to check) entitled "Handling of Arrears and Possessions" & "(18) Sale of Properties in Possession" (here you will find the answer to your questions 2 & 5) on:

http://www.cml.org.uk/servlet/dycon/zt- cml/cml/live/en/cml/pub_info_arrears

The above web page will also tell you what the lender should have done to sell the property, if they haven't, I would contact the CML Mortgage Compliance Board.

As regards counterclaiming for underselling, don't forget that there is a 6 year time limit in which to do so, which I believe runs from the date of sale (this needs to be double checked). There may be a legal argument to extend this, contact me about that if necessary. I also agree with Moira that you need to find out what other similar properties were selling for in that area at that time. I think you also need to think about looking for evidence to support a 'failure to market the property properly'(Skipton BS v Stott (CA 10.12.1999)). It is obviously important therefore to get the lender to produce documentary evidence on marketing, valuations and professional advice received from estate agents. To prove underselling you need solid evidence.

As regards the missing SARN info, have you reported them to the Information Commissioner? I hope to post more info about SARN info and the problems getting it shortly. In fact people who have complained to the IC and been successful and vice-versa I'd like to hear from.

Best wishes,


P.S. I would definitely contact your MP, have you seen Mike Hancock's EDM 62 on the Repo site, I would suggest you read it and quote this to your MP.

-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), June 05, 2003.

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