12 Years Rule and arrears

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Hello Everyone,

I need your opinions on this. I was repo'd in 1993 and have just received my statement of accounts. According to the mortgage terms and conditions they allow 2 months of arrears before repossession. Basically the account went into arrears back in 1991 when a possession order was made but the house was not repossessed as there were lump sum payments made (few and infrequent) which I do not think covered the arrears. The last payment was made in 1993, it was the only payment that year. So when would the 'accrual of the cause' be? When the account went in to 2 months arrears which was never clawed back or when the last payment was made on the account even though it did not cover the arrears. Your opinions, as always are very welcome


-- Julie (jmj260101@aol.com), November 07, 2003


The cause accrues at the point specified in your mortgage T&C, regardless of whether the mortgage company chose to pursue it at that point or not. But if I understand your posting, you say there was a possession hearing then, after which you continued irregular payments until 1993. If so, I *think* the exact date of accrual would depend on what was agreed at the repossession hearing in 1991 - the terms of the suspended possession order would specify when and how much payments were to be, and would supersede the mortgage T&C. Anyone more legally knowledgeable than me out there?

-- Melody (mbc109@york.ac.uk), November 07, 2003.

I think Melody is right, but I'll check it out with a solicitor for you.


-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), November 07, 2003.

If what you're saying is right then the alleged debt would be statute barred. Basically, the possession order was dated February 1991 with monthly installments of *00 to be paid monthly until the arrears were paid, as well as keeping up normal monthly repayments, the first one by **th March. This never happened although a payment was made in June 1991 for *000, then 2 more payments in November 1991. It basically continued like this until 1994 when we were evicted by a bailiff of the court. The only thing I thought of though was as we were still making paymnents, although sporadically, would that have not started the 12 years off again, which would mean the 12 years begins from when the last payment was made September 1993.


-- Julie (jmj260101@aol.com), November 08, 2003.


A fresh cause of action accrues on a payment or acknowledgment.

The relevant date is the date of the last payment or acknowledgment.


-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), November 08, 2003.

Hello Mark,

So what you are saying is that the accrual of the cause of action was when the last payment was made before repossession took place so therefore the Possession order and Terms and Conditions in my case are irrelevant.

Regards Julie

-- Julie (jmj260101@aol.com), November 08, 2003.

Julie, the very last payment that was made on the account is an acknowledgement of the debt and is therefore the date when the clock starts ticking. If you then make subsequent payments or an acknowledgement in writing this would start the clock ticking afresh. So if the last payment was made on 10th September 1993 and you have not paid anything further or admitted the debt in writing you have until 9th September 2005 before the 12 year limitation will expire. If you admit liability today they will have a further 12 years to chase you from today.

-- Lexie (lexie.fabriane@ntlworld.com), November 08, 2003.

...so it might be a good idea to keep them talking very slowly until September 05 then.

-- Melody (mbc109@york.ac.uk), November 10, 2003.


I see Lexie has already clarified things, but just to reconfirm, the limitation period will run from the date of the LAST acknowledgement or payment whether this be before repossession or afterwards. If your property was repossessed 3 years ago and you made a payment today towards the debt the 12 years would then start to run from today. Hope this is clear now. But bear in mind that if you had a joint mortgage any ex partner may acknowledge the debt for all joint partners by making a payment, but cannot acknowledge the debt for all in writing (only for him/herself). I suggest you have a look through previous postings. Hopefully, this is not applicable in your case. Good Luck.


-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), November 10, 2003.

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