financial ombudsman : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

Has anyone used the financial ombudsman to help with their reposessions resulting in shortfalls and way in which the banks/building societies handled the situations, especially when you believe they undersold the property and refuse to supply evidence of what the shortfalls are that they are chasing you for?

-- amanda (, March 16, 2004



I deal with many peoples mortgage shortfalls and have no experience of anyone approaching the Financial Ombudsman. However I have seen their involvement in endowment cases and am not impressed by their far right conservative reviews.

However, If the lender is unwilling to supply evidence then why should you pay the debt?

Look up the info on this site and do it yourself or contact one of the who helps section of this site. ALso check out the do's and dont's section.

One final point - The undersold argument is often used but doesnt hold up in court or in complaints unless you have PROOF! To obtain proof you would need to employ the services of a valuation company willing to provide a retrospective assessment of the property. The valuer would charge a fee however if their conclusion is that the property was worth more than than the lender sold it for then you could win - See Stott v Skipton Building Society - Court of appeal as an example. It would not be worth doing this unless you believe the property value was in your opinion signifcantly lower.

Another consideration is that as a claim for underselling is not upon a speciality and therefore the limitation period of 6 years applies - i.e. from been advised of the sale price of the repossesed house you only have 6 years to challenge this - thats why so many shortfalls are pursued to court only after 7 years have elapsed! - see Raja v Lloyds TSB Bank for further clarification.

-- who?? (, March 18, 2004.

can you clarify what the 6 years you mentioned actually means? I hear that you can only be persued for 6 years if you have no contact since the sale of your house, but am confused that after 6 years they can take you to court. Have i understood this correctly?

-- amanda (, March 18, 2004.

Its very hard to give you specific answers to your queries without knowing the full facts of your case as there are so many different considerations that need to be made when it comes to limitation.

Very simply, Lenders can chase for 12 years dependant on certain factors.(I have found that the majority of shortfalls can be pursued for 12 years) - This has been discussed in many previous posts on this site so check messages regarding limitation, cause of action - also the legal case bartlett v bristol & west.

The 6 year YOU refer to is the Council of Mortgage Lenders VOLUNTARY Policy. (see other postings)

The 6 year I mentioned was regarding undersale defence. This means that should the lender take you to court in year 10 since your last payment and it has been over 6 years since the lender first notified you of the eventual sale price of your house then you would not be able to defend the claim by stating that the lender undersold your house as it would be struck out.

If you require more personal assistance please provide the following

Date of Sale

Date last payment was made to the lender by you or a joint borrower

Which lender was it

When does the lender claim they first wrote to you regarding the house sale / shortfall

Have you ever provided income details or written to the lender and if so when

in1/12they originally advise you (see previous messages on this site as plenty of explanations already exist) So if

-- who?? (, March 18, 2004.

please ignore the final line - i pasted it in error

-- who?? (, March 18, 2004.

I'll route these dates out and let you know.

I haven't sent any details of income details but have sent numerous letters to them asking them (the Halifax) to provide evidence of what the outstanding debt is made of. They havent't really sent anything substantial and in some cases argue that due the 'data protection act' are unable to supply others!

Thanks for the advice

-- amanda (, March 19, 2004.

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