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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33955
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I wonder if you can help me.I am in a legal dispute

Customer Question

Hello, I wonder if you can help me. I am in a legal dispute with my mother over the proceeds of the sale of a flat that I used to own. My mother can barely read or write, nor understand English. There are other members of my family who are driving this case forward. My mother (and my father) have always lived with me when they came to this country in Jan 2000. I had been fully supporting them until now. I recently got married and moved in with my husband. My parents were supposed to go and live with my eldest sister as I wanted to sell my flat. My parents refused to move out, then lodged a claim with the land registry, stating that I had transferred the ownership of my flat to my mother based on “moneys” she had lent me during the past 14 years. The claim was based on a clumsily forged document, dated March 2007, hand-written (by more than one person) in Persian, and on a piece of lined notepad paper. Several family members had also witnessed this document. One of the witnesses is my youngest sister, one is unidentified (I know it is my father), one witness (my niece) was 17 years old at the time. My own signature is also forged. The property had always been subject to a mortgage which has been paid by me alone. I could never have transfer the property to anyone else, even if I wanted to. The document had been given for translation, and the translated text (dated Nov’ 2007), was lodged with the Land Registry in Dec’ 2014. The land registry accepted the translation as is, and put a restriction on the title!? Despite my several attempts, the land Registry would not accept that they had not followed correct procedures, or that they had done anything wrong, and insisted that I should fight my mother directly! Following a domestic incident in Sep’ 2014, the police were called and my parents were forcefully removed from my flat. It is during this incident that my father, for the first time, brought out this document and showed it to the police to stop them from getting evicted, and this was the first time that I had ever seen the document. They got evicted anyhow when my mother tried to attack me in front of the police. I managed to sell the flat eventually through a loophole (appointment of a trustee to hold the proceeds of the sale), but when my mother found out, she insisted that the proceeds belonged to her. I naturally disagreed, but I was also advised not to spend the money until the dispute was resolved. Despite three months of chasing, my mother’s solicitor has only just replied by sending me a very long list of unrelated bank statements, mostly belonging to my father, which proves nothing at all. Despite several requests, they made no attempt to explain the circumstances in which the document they rely on was prepared and signed. My family are only doing this because they, they do not want to have my parents with them. Knowing that my mother is very old, has no money, and will have nothing to lose, but are prepared to drag this on for ever if necessary. Unfortunately I can no longer afford to take this matter any further with the help of my current solicitor due to health reasons. I have also been taking too much time off work and do not qualify for legal aid. It is quite clear that my mother has nothing to do with this case and the “family” are the driving force behind it all. But I don’t know what I can do to stop them. My mother’s solicitor has made no attempt what so ever to employ the services of a translator and has relied totally on the say so of other family members. My questions are as follows: [-1-] How do I stop my family from driving the case. Alternatively, how can I force their solicitor to at least employ a translator for my mother? [-2-] I am told that I can only go to court by “issuing proceedings under the S14 (2)Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act (TLATA) for a declaration that my mother does not have any beneficial entitlement to the net proceeds of sale”. I am also told that this will cost £100,000 by my solicitor. IS THIS TRUE? [-3-] I need to know if I should contact the Police and report those involved for forgery? [-4-] If I call the police, will it have any ramification on me? I look forward to your reply. Thanks in advance.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the equity in the property?
What restriction was placed on the property at the Land Registry?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Clare, Thank you for your message and questions.

In reply, The equity is approx £300k which is suppose to go towards my existing debts. This is now held by my solicitor "on trust". They won't give it to me as they fear they may themselves be sued by my mother if they did.

The restriction placed with the Register of Title under Proprietorship Register states that "02/10/14 - no disposition by a sole proprietor of the registered estate (except a trust corporation) may be registered unless authorised by an order of the court."

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Would you be willing to pay your mother anything at all?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I cannot afford to pay my mother anything as I have just over £355k of existing debt. Even if I wanted to make a nominal offer, I know for a fact that "the family" will refuse.

They have already asked for the whole amount. However, in a recent Email, they provided £126k worth of bank transfers between my father, myself and other members of the family dating from 2002. These transfers have nothing to do with any "loans". They have asked for this amount "as a minimum", plus £25k for unlawful eviction, even though my parents were escorted out by the police when my mother tried to attack me in front of them.

I should mention one thing, that this whole thing stems from a family honour retaliation because I chose a husband that they did not approve of!

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
OK.
When was the property purchased and how was that financed?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Purchased in March 2003 sold March 2015. It was financed entirely my myself. I have been the only person paying the mortgage.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
How much was the deposit and the costs and what was the monthly mortgage payment?
Can you show where the money for the deposit and the costs came from?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I re-mortgaged my home at the time and raised the deposit and to pay costs.

Purchase price: £375,000 (July 2003)

Deposit: £70,000

Borrowed: £305,000 (on repayment)

Monthly payment: £2000+ (approx.)

Re-mortgaged in 2008 to raise equity

Final mortgage: £395,000 (as of March 2015)

I think I can obtain full details, but I'd have to contact each mortgage company for each property.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Excellent that is what I needed to know.
What specific sums are your parents claiming to have paid you?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

  • In front of the police they said I owe them £90,000!

  • In the forged paper, I am supposed to have stated that "I am transferring the {house} to my mother for the moneys she had lent me"

  • In the land registry the charge is for the whole property.

  • When they realised how much I sold the house, they asked for £305,000

  • In their latest correspondents they claim for a minimum of £126,000 plus £25,000 for unlawful eviction.


All the above are documented.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Excellent - thank you.
What do the bank statements they have sent actually show?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

Sorry about the late reply, I was admitted to hospital for a neck injury.

In answer to your question, they have produce a selection of my father’s bank statements and some from an account that belongs to another members of my family. There is no explanation as to what payments or entries are what, all of which prove nothing at all.

Regards.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I hope that you are feeling better - do the statements show money being paid to you - and do YOU know what the funds were for?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

None what so ever. Their letter states the following:

"We enclose a schedule of some the monies loaned to your client by our client between 2002 and 2011, together with supporting copy bank statements. This totals £126,473…..."

The statements produced belonged only to my father who is not even the claimant nor a client. My mother has her own bank accounts.

The schedule (part typed and part hand written) does not indicate where the monies came from or to whom it was transferred to. It even includes several “cash” entries by hand!

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Just to check - did you ever receive any funds from family members for any reason?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes I did. But not in huge sums.

I lived in a very close-knit (middle eastern) family circle where we were brought up to unconditionally help each other out financially. But as I was the only person working, I was the one who paid out. If I ever received any monies, it would be for payments of bills etc. with moneys that my mother had saved up from the funds received originally from me alone.

For example, I paid my parents a (fully declared) salary from my business until a year ago. I supported them fully and they, and occasionally other family members, lived with me rent free.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Did they actually do any work for you?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No, not at all.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Then it is time to bring things to a head.
From what you have said it is clear that your parent shave no case that will stand up in court.
You need to complete a spread sheet showing the funds that you paid to them and why.
Include every payment you can trace - and out in every payment you received.
I appreciate that this is likely to be an enormous undertaking but it is essential that you do this as it is the best chance you have of settling this matter without a court case.
Once you have this then a letter needs to be sent to the solicitor for your parents pointing out that there is no evidence of any payment to you - and ample evidence that you in fact funded not only the property but their living expenses.
Warn them that an applictaion will be made to the court using the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act for the funds to be released to you - and that you will claim costs.
There is no reason why such an applictaion will cost £100,000 - either change the solicitor or deal with the matter yourself using a Direct Access Barrister to settle the actual wording of the paperwork
There is little point in calling the police who will view this as a Civil matter
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33955
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare

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