Halifax Repossession with a Joint mortgage

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

I have just discovered this site and wish I had found it when I first started my dealings with the Halifax for my repossession! Anyway I will try to summerise the situation. Myself and my (now Ex) Husband brought a property using a Halifax mortgage in the late 1990's. In 1996 we separated, to be divorced in 1997. As part of the divorce agreement my ex Husband handed the house to me. At this stage it was obvious I could not afford the mortgage on my own and put the house on the market. Because of arrears on the mortgage and the fact that the property was on the market I was advised by our local branch not to remove my ex husbands name from the mortgage but use the 75.00 it would cost me to put towards the arrears - not that it would have made a lot of difference. To cut a long story short the sale fell through and the property was repossessed. After much negotiation between my solicitor and them I accepted a debt of 6,000 (the original debt was over 15,000) which I agreed to pay back at 100.00 per month. At no stage has my ex husband accepted that any of this debt is his - in fact we have a document signed in front of a solicitor that states if the Halifax attempt to get any of this debt from him, he can come back to me for the money. The Halifax are aware this document exists and are aware (via me since he refuses to have any dealings with them) that he accepts no liability for the debt. Everything was fine and I was paying off the debt until November 2001 when I was made redundent - losing an income of 45,000! Rather then get another job I have set up my own business and am now self employed but with a much lower income. At the stage of my redundency we were forced to move to a rented house (since we could no longer afford the mortgage on our existing house and decided to sell rather then be repossessed). I forgot (and it was a genuine forget not an attempt to evade paying the debt) to tell the Halifax my new address. They tracked me down within 12 months and for the last 18 months I have been trying to negotiate a new payment plan with them. They have refused every offer of payment I have made, contacted my Ex without informing me first (despite previous assurances they would not)and increased the debt to the original value it was (minus payments I have already made). I apologise for the length of this but this is a brief summary of the situation - without all the gory details! Anyway to the questions I hope someone can help me with - 1) even at this stage is there benefit in serving the Halfax with a SARN? and do I send this to the person I am dealing with or to their data compliance officer? Presumably I need to inform the person I am dealing with since he has given me 21 days to agree a payment plan with them. 2) Because I thought this matter was resolved and we had a payment plan in place (and I have moved 5 times since then!) I cannot find any of the original corresondence. However this was mainly done via the solicitor I had at the time. I have contacted them and asked them to send me copies of this - when I requested this via phone they said they couldn't find any, so I requested by letter with more details but have had no response to the letter. Is it worth serving a SARN on them as well? 3) The Halifax say myself and my ex are jointly and severally liable for this debt. I have accepted full responsiblity for the debt but my ex accepts no liability for this debt. In fact he has had no contact with the Halifax with regard to it - he does not repond to the letters they send him just shouts at me! If I have accepted full responsibility for this debt and am still in negotiation with them about payment and the amount owed do they have any right to attempt to pursue my ex (via a debt collection agency) for exactly the same amount? If (by some miracle) he accepted to the debt collection agency that he owed the money surely the Halifax stand to get double the debt back?

I apologise for the length of this message and having read this site I now know that I have done some things in the past in my dealings with them that I shouldn't. However I do not dispute the debt with them but do not see why I should have to pay the extra 11,000 they now want. I would just like some advice on how I can get them to accept a payment plan for the 3,200 I believe I owe them and stop them approaching my ex - so he stops giving me grief about it! Thanks in advance for any help and advice you can give me.


-- Jane Thompson (jane.thompson@eezenet.com), November 15, 2003


Honestly, some people think that they can just walk away from their liabilities and that the piece of paper they signed called an agreement or contract is null and void as soon as they decide they no longer want to be bound by it - your ex seems to be one of these people.

Unless your ex was properly removed from the mortgage either by court order or by the Halifax and you agreeing with him to do so, then he is still bound by the deed under seal and can be pursued up to six years (voluntary CML agreement) from the default.

As to your own situation, you breached the terms of the offer accepted by the lender - therefore they have reneged on the deal and have come on to you for the full whack - I expect this will have been written into the agreement somewhere that they can do this if you failed to pay in accordance with the agreement where they accepted a lesser sum.

I suggest you invest in a decent solicitor to unravel this for you and that you tell the Halifax where your ex is and say that you will oppose further claims on yourself unless they do something about collecting his "moral" "half". If you don't do this, then they will come on you for the lot and regard you as the easier target and not bother with him.

Get some good legal advice quickly!!!

-- David J. Button (davidjohnbutton@supanet.com), November 15, 2003.


I agree with David that you should seek professional advice, you could try Ahmed Butt of the Mary Ward legal Centre, the National Association of Mortgage Victims, the CAB, or a local council advice unit.

Bear in mind that there are free debt management plan providers available, such as Pay Plan, which I notice Simon Wiggins of debtquestions often recommends. Some people say that a BS/bank is more likely to accept a pay plan/lump sum settlement if it is organized through a third party like the MWLC, NAMV, CAB.

Also, the lender has 12 years to chase you and your ex (possibly indefinitely if an MJO has been issued), the CML 6 year voluntary agreement won't apply in your case see "Does this time limit apply to every case?" on the CML web page http://www.cml.org.uk/servlet/dycon/zt- cml/cml/live/en/cml/pub_info_dept

Be advised too that by making part payments this can restart the 12 year limitation period for you & your ex. See previous postings on acknowledging shortfalls. Good Luck.


-- M Amos (idgroms@hotmail.com), November 17, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ