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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have separated from my Ex partner 1st October 2014 and was

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I have separated from my Ex partner 1st October 2014 and was asked to move out of our family house (well she changed the locks without notifying me). As we were never married but have 2 children she elected to stay in the house and would not downscale - this is a 4 bedroom property. I was advised not to continue to contribute to the mortgage (which is in joint names) and she has, for the best part of one and a half years, paid the mortgage herself without buying me out nor taking me off the mortgage - the DWP are now paying the interest on the mortgage and she is no longer working receiving all sorts of benefits. I have always paid maintenance as I am suppose to ever since I have moved out but I have only found out recently that she has not made outstanding payments towards the mortgage over and above what the DWP does not cover (interest only mortgage) and this has been going on for 5 months now. She was advised by the CAB that the amount of £1 per month would be acceptable to the mortgage company yet I can see a decline in the value owed on my side of the property as joint tenants and a increase in money owed to the mortgage company over years if this is to continue. My credit rating is now severely damaged to the point of not being able to obtain credit. I have not contributed towards the mortgage since I have moved away as I am having to rent somewhere else in order to facilitate a home for my children which I see every other weekend. Is there a way to stop my credit rating from being severely damaged by her actions? I am in no position to contribute further towards the mortgage for I am not living there and that would cripple me financially as well. Any advise would be appreciated...Regards, Kai

Hi, thank you for your question. Please confirm:

-Are you in England or Wales?

-Is there an order excluding you from the property?

-Do you seek a sale of it?

-What is the value of the property and outstanding mortgage?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In England. No court order in place / no order written up. Locks changed and my stuff moved out at the time by my ex without my knowledge. I wanted to sell it but she refused and court proceedings would not have yielded to a positive outcome as children are 6 and 9 years old now so I was told. Property value is £375k valued last year with mortgage of £165k (£130k of that is interest only). Rgds, Kai

Thanks for confirming. Are the children male or female?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
both female

Thanks. Have you looked at what prices in the area are for 2 bedroom properties both to buy and rent? Is it clear that she is now running into arrears regarding the mortgage?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The rental prices she could not afford as she is not working and they would be more expensive than the current mortgage. She has been running in the arrears for 4 months at least now - although the DWP pay most of the interest on the mortgage.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would just like my credit rating protected as it is now adversely affecting me financially.

Thanks - unfortunately unless your name is ***** ***** the mortgage then you will remain linked to the mortgage and the arrears will continue to impact you and the mortgage company will highly unlikely agree to remove your name as she will not be able to afford to take it on and it is in arrears.

Given that she cannot sustain the mortgage and it will likely lead to a repossession, which would impact you, you should look at having the property sold and for her to approach the council to obtain housing - with the children in her care she will be in priority need. So long as the property is not repossessed she will unlikely be found to be intentionally homeless and they should have a duty to house her. She would then likely be entitled to housing benefit to support her rent.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there is no provision in place that would protect me from being harmed? Intentionally ensuring a systematic reduction in credit rating can only be dealt with by trying to convince her to sell - which is all but impossible as she has refused on so many occasions? Surely if another person is inflicting harm there has to be provision in place to counteract or at least protect?

Unfortunately, as it is a joint mortgage you are both jointly and separately liable for the mortgage despite the circumstances. The only provision for you is to consider either reclaiming, occupying and taking over the property or to apply to court for a forced sale of the property - you do not need to convince her to sell - it is the court that would need convincing and given she is unable to sustain the home and mortgage it is likely the court will agree that a forced sale is reasonable.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and on a final note - how would I go about 'reclaiming the property' as you put it?

Legally you would be allowed to return to the property as you are a joint owner and there are no exclusion orders to prevent you returning you can legally return there. Practically this would be difficult and initially you should propose this to your ex-partner to prevent repossession and further impacting your credit rating.

If she refuses you can consider applying for an occupation order to return there and to remove her and the children, this can be done using form FL401 to your local family court. Or you can proceed immediately with a forced sale using form N1 and a £355 court fee to your local county court.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.,

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