greenspun.com : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

I have just been given a repossession notice and a date for the court hearing.

I am currently 5 months in arrears and am a classic example of those who bury their head in the sand.

I informed Natwest back in the new year that I was having financial difficulties due to redundancy and ill health but would try and pay what I could. I have just written to them and forwarded 6 post dated cheques to pay towards the arrears (now working full time again) but the court papers arrived on my doorstep this morning.

I am absolutely petrified - and to make matters worse my partner knows nothing about the arrears as I deal with all financial matters. Naturally I would like to clear this up asap and without him finding out.

Is there anyway I can stop the proceedings by clearing or agreeeing to pay the arrears? If not how does the process work and does my partner have to attend the hearing. We are on rocky ground as it is and this will just tip him over the edge and I have a six year old daughter to think about.


-- Mia Ridges (mia23266@yahoo.co.uk), March 30, 2004


As your lender is a high street branch it would be worth obtaining an immediate appointment to try to come to some form of arrangement.

However there is no guarantee that Natwest will agree to this, but on the plus side you have a genuine reason and have gained new employment. Take proof of your illness, new employment and redundancy to them for the meeting.

Usually lenders are willing through negotiation to allow you to pay the arrears off over a maximum period of 12 months as long as your regular monthly mortgage payments are paid promptly and you can now demonstrate an ability to repay. You will be ok attending this on your own.

Regretably pre dated cheques are worthless to them in addition to being technically illegal on your part.

If Natwest is willing to postpone repossession proceedings you must accept that additional fees will have already been incurred such as the legal costs for the court application and possibly solicitor legal work already carried out.



Ensure the judge and the lender are made aware of the reason for arrears and supply proof as mentioned previously.

Complete all court paperwork and file items prior to any deadlines stipulated - send them recorded delivery.

Take a detailed analysis of your income and outgoings - to demonstrate you now have the ability to rectify this over a suitable period of time.

Supply the court with copies of correspondence you have previously sent to the lender on this issue.

Dont panic too much, as long as Natwest havent already obtained (in the past) a possession order (you will know what i am talking about here if they have) then the judge will agree to you clearing the arrears over a suitable period, as long as you can now demonstrate affordability.

He may give them a suspended possession order but if no further payments are missed you will be ok.

Your partner does not need to attend Court however it could possibly be viewed dimly and should he find out at a later date I think the consequences would be much worse.

If Natwest wont settle this out of Court I would come clean with your partner, afterall if you have been unemployed and suffering illness for the past 5 months how did he expect you to maintain your lifestyles in addition to making the mortgage payments?

Also now that you have sucessfully gained new employment I would recommend you get Accident Sickness and Unemployment protection insurance - make sure you shop around - Norwich Union are not bad.

Good luck

If you need any further help myself or someone else on this board will be happy to advise.

-- who?? (who@idontwanttosay.com), March 30, 2004.

HELLO, Thanks for your response, your advice is invaluable. If I give you the full details of my circumstances you may be able to help some more. Basically I've done everything back to front. I am currently registered with a non-profit making debt management company who I pay 250 a month to for our unsecured borrowing. We also have another secured loan with First Plus who we pay an extortionate amount of 802 per month. This was based on some very dodgy advice but unfortunately we are stuck with it. The cost of the settlement fee is also extortionate. We have asked in the past for them to reduce both figures but were flatly refused. So in order to maintain the above payments I let the mortgage payments (545 per month) slip hoping that I would be able to re- mortage but without a full-time job at the time this was impossible. While I kept in contact with Natwest before Xmas I have been under a lot of pressure these past few months and always thought I would come up with a solution to settle the arrears and even the mortgage in full, so buried my head. Now I am in a position to do this or at least make amends I find it's too late and have to go to court to fight my case unless of course as you say they agree to postpone. Our current income is now in excess of the 47000 per annum (total monthly 3200) and our house is valued at 180,000 and we have 82000 outstanding on the mortgage and 75000 on the second loan. Could I propose that I pay Natwest a significantly increased monthly payment and fight First Plus to reduce theirs, and ask PayPlan to reduce the agreed monthly sum to cover the unsecured lending? And in the meantime try to find a lender who will re-mortgage us. Your advice once again would be extremely appreciated. Thanks & regards M.

-- M (mia23266@yahoo.co.uk), March 30, 2004.


Really sorry to hear all this.

In answer to your questions

1. Doubtful that you will ever receive agreement from First Plus to reduce their monthly payment - besides the compound interest rate would increase the debt significantly and quite simply screw you more in the long run.

Also Natwest will have informed them that it is their intention to repossess and therefore i believe negotiation with these COWBOYS will fail - Shame on you Carol Vorderman!!!


2. DO Increase Natwest payments as previosuly advised

3. Finding a lender to remortgage with is gonna be tough as right now you have secured debt which swallow 87% of your current property value and have 5 months arrears with your first charge lender. You would therefore be better AT PRESENT to stick with Natwest as their rate is much more in line with Bank of England Base Rates.

I say at present because I cannot think of a 2nd charge lender who will go behind Natwest to redeem First Plus with good enough interest rates to make any switch worthwhile.

Longer term you may be better to remortgage Natwest & First Plus accounts with a better than average 1st charge sub prime lender such as GMAC RFC (NOT AN ENDORSEMENT BUT AS I HAVE BEEN A MORTGAGE ADVISOR FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS I HAVE FOUND THEM TO BE FAIR AND COMPETITIVE) as even when you clear your Natwest arrears and maintain regular payments you will still have the unsecured arrears adversly effecting your credit file record so high street lenders are out of the question.

To cut down your Payplan payments (excellent organisation!!!)is an option, afterall it sounds like none of these creditors have securitisation. I would contact Payplan and explain your present situation, afterall any Court if it went that far would agree that Secured debts are highest priority - see if Payplan can squeeze a reduction in the monthly payment and then STICK TO IT.

Your arrears with Natwest works out 5*545 = 2725 / 12 months(offer to payover) = 227.84 pm arrears + regular monthly payment = 772.84 per month + legal fees for natwest, as yet undefined / 12.


Your gonna have to change your lifestyle as money is gonna be tight, YOUVE NO CHOICE IF YOU WANT TO MOVE FORWARD.

Then after 12 months if you have followed this advice you should have

Clean 12 month history with Natwest and Nil arrears (may be alittle left due to interest added from missed payments)

Clean record with First Plus

Hopefully your house increasing in equity

12 months demonstrating your ability to keep to arrangements to clear unsecured debts off

= Remortgage with appropriate lender (longer term if need but not longer than retirement!!!!) resulting in MUCH lower payments.

Hope this helps

For even more detailed advice you will need to supply an income expenditure analysis. But be careful, lenders read this site!

If you wish i will email one to you?

-- who?? (who@idontwanttosay.com), March 30, 2004.

Once again, thanks for your advice, although not very good news for me. I will write to Natwest and offer the terms you suggest and see what happens. This is going to sound cheeky but would you be willing to help write a structured letter that will be favourable to them and even stop/postpone court proceedings?

I would also appreciate your advice on the settlement figures given by First Plus as I think I may have grounds for complaint. It's a bit of a long winded story and I would prefer to disclose this information offline.

I am really in a panic over all of this and right now my easiest option would be to call it a day with partner, sell the house, clear all debt and go rent somewhere.

Look forward to hearing from you, you're being a great help!

-- m (mia23266@yahoo.co.uk), March 31, 2004.


I will certainly help you write a letter if that is what you wish to do however, in circumstances like these it would be much better face to face with your local Natwest branch manager / account manager.

This would allow you to explain the situation in full and demonstrate your attempt to resolve this matter, much better than any specially crafted letter could ever do. I would only recommend a letter if the face to face meeting did not obtain the required outcome.

Regarding First Plus - you will need to provide me with all details - I will email my real email address to you immediately upon posting this message to the home repo board.

Your easiest option sounds very drastic and emotive - Debt causes stress which doesnt always help us to think straight - As I myself learnt money is not everything and its not as if they can put you in prison or take your life! Sadly many people take their own life in such crisises.

If the cause of your relationship problems is due to debt dont let it beat you and your partner, for your daughters sake.

If debt is simply one of many other 'relationship issues' then i am not really the right person to comment.

-- who?? (who@idontwanttosay.com), March 31, 2004.

Once again, thanks for the advice. I will try and make an appointment today but in the meantime will send a letter together with documents of proof of circumstances (together with a cheque for this month!) and send copies to their solicitors and the court.

Incidentally shouldn't I have been notified by the solicitors of the intended Possession Claim?

With regards to the First Plus fiasco I certainly would appreciate the benefit of your wisdom but would prefer to discuss offline. I would also need to send you copies of all correspondence.

-- m (mia23266@yahoo.co.uk), April 01, 2004.

Dont send any original documents through the post only copies.

Make sure you DO have face to face meeting and take a copy of the documents you are sending to them via post. The person you will see will file a report of the meeting and send this to the recoveries department. Even if you go to court it will still look better because the acting solicitor (the solicitor who turns up in court) will get a copy of the documents and he and his clients will be more inclined to agreeing to fair terms to repay the arrears.

Regarding solicitors, surely youve received threats of repossession from them before the court papers arrived? although even if they havent as long as Natwest have it will not make any difference.

First plus - I had noted your comments previously and did send you an email yesterday (using my real email address) suggesting that you scanned the various documents and emailed them to me whilst blanking out your personal details, did you not get this?

-- who?? (who@idontwanttosay.com), April 01, 2004.

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