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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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In 2007, my wife obtained a loan of £50,000.00 from GE Money.

Customer Question

In 2007, my wife obtained a loan of £50,000.00 from GE Money. At the time, I was a foreign citizen who had recently been given Indefinitely Leave to Remain but had not become a British citizen. I felt coerced and pressured by my wife to agree to the loan agreement. At the time, I was not a British citizen and in effect felt I would not receive her support to obtain full citizenship if I refused to agree to co-sign the loan.
She informed GE Money that she needed the money to renovate our home (which she had purchased by herself and in her name in 2005). However, she used it to renovate another property she owned (which she also purchased by herself and in her name in 2005). In the end, I co-signed the loan agreement from GE Money. However, I never received any independent legal advice and was never advised by GE Money to do so. I had read the loan agreement and noted that there is nothing there suggesting that I obtain any separate legal advice. The agreement was signed by me in the presence of their underwriter who acted as a witness – this I found out years after sifting through and looking for documents as I was not given any document to read.
GE Money has a legal charge over our home in both our names, so I am aware that we are severally and jointly liable under the law.
There have been arrears on the loan for the last few years running to thousands of pounds. During that time, my wife has refused to correspond with or contact GE Money in any way and I have been left to make the monthly payments together with an amount towards the arrears all on my own. She never used a single penny from the loan to make renovations at our home and in a sense could be said to have used it for business purposes (property investment). Although I still live in the house with my wife and our two young children, she and I are leading separate lives even though we are not in the process of divorcing.
I would like some advice about my rights regarding my liability to continue to make these payments in light of the fact that I did not obtain any legal advice regarding the loan and had no idea what I was getting myself into. In addition, should GE Money wish to repossess our home because of the arrears, what are my chances of success if I counterclaim on the basis of their failure to ensure I receive independent legal advice?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but need further information first.
Was the loan paid to your wife alone?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Claire,
We were named as joint borrowers. GE Money registered the loan as a charge in both names. We are jointly liable for the loan. The money was transferred into my wife's account. She obtained single cover plus on PPI. She has refuses to speak to the lenders shortly after arrears started on the account. I just need to know if I have a case since I obtained no separate advice about what could happen if I agreed to taking this loan. They sent someone over from their company called an underwriter to witness both our signatures at our home, and this was when i was studing and was not working. Like I said, I had only been in the country on and off for 3 Years and had just gotten my stay indefinite leave to remain in the country so I have knowledge of how these things work. I am originally from Africa. I feel like I have now been dumped with the payments. I would never have agreed to it. I have two children and I worry endlessly that we will be taken to court at any minute and be made homeless. My wife simply does not care.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?