Divorce/Mortgage

TRY AND DIVORCE YOUR MORTGAGE?

I have recently been helping a friend, Mrs. K, rescue what is left of her equity to prevent her losing everything.  Unfortunately, her ex-husband has systematically drained her savings and the equity from two houses. Believing him once and starting again with a smaller house to repay the debts he had created, meant the second time ended in divorce. However he is the main wage earner and agreed to continue to pay the mortgage payments, as he refused to redeem the mortgage and if you didn’t know that having a joint mortgage means he can do that.

Unsurprisingly he didn’t keep up with the payments but ensured he regularly visited the house, mowing the grass, mending fences and intercepting the mail.

However, he did slip up and missed a letter sent to Mrs. K detailing £18000 of arrears on top of the mortgage debt because of numerous missed payments.

The letter stated that if the lender wasn’t contacted the case would be sent to litigation department. Distraught and expecting people to arrive and seize the house, she asked me for my help and advice. My experience to date has been an eye opener at how easy it is for someone to do this if they know what they are doing. And how difficult it is to find a way out of a situation where you are both joint mortgage holders.

Data protection protects Mr. K from Mrs. K knowing what he has said or agreed, although the letters regarding the mortgage account position are sent to the same address but in separate envelopes. I am very surprised that Mrs. K never received a phone call from the lender to check she was aware of the situation as she had made no contact with them.

My first step was to gain written permission by email allowing me to speak to the lender on her behalf, only to be told that for security reasons only a faxed letter was acceptable. It took the lender three days before the fax was found and added to the account details.

Numerous phone calls and incorrect information followed. In addition to this, only faxes are acceptable to send documentation through, i.e. formal offer on the house, the ex husbands agreement to sell. This form of communication is a joke and not very consumer friendly, especially when everyone has email and very few people have access to a fax machine.

Each call had involved me having to go through the entire story in addition to the security checks. I had not once been able to speak to the same person and often the notes on their screen were incomplete. The most recent exchange of information meant that I had to read out the latest letter as this was not on the file and the person had to go and speak to their manager to understand what it meant. Despite the fact that the letter had things like phone extensions and reference numbers , it was not traceable.

The main reason for this article is not to name and shame the lender in question, but to make  anyone out their aware, in the middle of divorce etc that yes you can divorce each other, but just Try and Divorce Your Mortgage without the right advice and you will draw to a quick emergency stop. I understand all about processes. We live in a world where processes protect us but with arrears and repossessions, emotion and the end result of losing everything you have, makes people panic. My sense of fair play has made me determined to make sure the correct process is followed and is in place for my clients and that Mrs. K ends up with her equity. Instead of giving up on life, she has been able to continue at work, with some hope of survival and escaping from her ex-husband and the mortgage.

So if you are going through the divorce nightmare and needs some professional advice and recommendation, then just call me to arrange an appointment on 
01924 466755