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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3774
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Dear Sir/Madam,As part of my divorce settlement in 2010

Resolved Question:

Dear Sir/Madam,
As part of my divorce settlement in 2010 a charge was placed on my home resulting from the bancrupsy of my ex-husband. My solicitor was able to negotiate a reduced charge, which was agreed by both the the bank and the court. As I did not have the funds to pay the charge (I am a single Mom, self employed as a personal fitness trainer, with an annual income of less than £20,000 per year), my only choice was to put my home up for sale. After making best efforts to sell my home in 2010 through 2012 (I had one offer which did not materialise), I took my home off the market as I had become poorly and required major surgery. In order to maintain my home I have an interest only mortgage, which expired in October 2014. Prior to the expiry of my mortgage, I discussed maintaining my current arrangement with my mortgage lender. They replied that they were not prepared to renew my interest only mortgage unless I got rid of the £23,950 charge on the property. This was particularly distressing as I have never missed a payment date on my mortgage, which is calculated at 7% (this is a huge premium in the current market). In the meantime, a friend has offered to help me and provided my solicitor a cheque in the amount of £23,950 to pay off the charge. This occurred in October. Since the charge was first negotiated I have not heard from the bank or their representatives. That is until last week, when they wrote to my solicitor indicating they were not prepared to accept the £23,950 as settlement of the agreed charge. My bank has given me until the end of January to resolve the outstanding charge. I don't have the funds to challenge or negotiate with the solicitors representing the bank, who hold the charge. I have already spent hundreds of pounds on my solicitor, who has not been successful in representing my case. Furthermore, I can't afford to wait another 3 months to get a response from the solicitors representing the bank (RBS).
Please help guide me, this is causing tremendous stress. What is my best case scenario and how do I achieve this and what is the worst case scenario and how do I prevent it from happening.
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Can you tell me why the bank wont accept the settlement figure of £23k? Are they saying it should be more?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The letter to my solicitor states:
" we write to advise that our clients have advised they are unable to accept your clients offer to pay £23,950 to remove their interest in the property as they unable accept such a significant discount on the outstanding balance. Notwithstanding any agreement reached in September 2010 as, as you can appreciate a significant length of time has elapsed.
We also note that you advise a sum of £32,950 was sent to us 27 October 2014. Unfortunately, we have been unable to trace these funds and would be greatful if you could advise how such a payment was made to enable us to investigate this further"
My solicitor sent the cheque, which was returned by them!
Their is no indication of what they are looking for to settle the charge and I can't afford more than what has been offered.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
A
Apologies that should read a cheque in the amount of £23,950 was sent them and returned
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Can you confirm what the discount is from £23,950? Is this a discount at all?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The original amount was £33k.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
The issue you have when negotiating with banks is that they will only make offer to settle based on affordability. This essentially means that the onus is on you to prove that £23k is all you can raise and afford to deal with the issue and to back this up with bank statements and information on your means. Without providing effectively full disclosure the bank just wont negotiate.
The second point to note is the bank have clearly not treated you fairly by ignoring your check. Banks under their customer charter have an obligation to treat people fairly. If they fail to do this you may have a complaint. What I suggest you do is the following:
1. Write back to them and enclose the cheque;
2. Explain why the cheque is all you can afford and back this up with a commitment to provide them with information to prove this;
3. Say to them that if they do not respond to your requests expediently, you reserve the right to make a complain to the Financial Ombudsman, because ignoring your cheque clearly shows mismanagement of your account.www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/
You will then have to use this as a basis to either agree a settlement figure or a reasonable repayment plan.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. What evidence should I provide concerning my ability to pay. I have my tax files and my bank statements...anything else? Also, how do I get them to respond quickly as my bank will want to know soon as to whether I have been able to settle the charge
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I would ask the bank to confirm what information they might require to prove affordability.
As a starting point bank statements showing your income would be helpful.
Kind regards
AJ
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