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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I left a property 7 plus years ago which has now been reposed.

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I left a property 7 plus years ago which has now been reposed. My ex partner who agreed she would sell at the time decided to move somebody else in and until dec 2012 has lived there. Payments were not met and a wind up order was put in place resulting in the property being sold at a loss. We have joint names on the mortgage and are both liable however Nram are saying they will means test both parties. I know for a fact she will end up paying very little if not get away completely. I left the house with nothing, not even furniture. All the depts were in my name as she had only recently got employment after we moved in. The reason for me leaving was verbal abuse aimed at my children. I was forced to go down the route of a dept management company to pay substantial depts and even took out a lump sum off my pension to clear everything off apart from a sun house extension that was built onto the property. This has now been cleared as I paid the balance just prior to the sale going through. Nram are now saying the outstanding balance is £28,319. The original buying price was £163,000 in 2005. The sell price was £150,000. I have not got the full details yet but as far as I know there is £150 admin £4,765 legal/solicitors fees and a retention value of £173,645. I believe at the time I paid something in the region of £17,000 deposit. I just need to know what my options are. Is my name legally bound to this after an absence of 7 years and having no control over what my ex partner ( not wife) did in tears of staying in the property. Also is there anything that can be done to reduce this dept as I simply have not the means of clearing it in any sensible time scale.

Hope this all makes sense but if not I am willing to visit one of your centres.

Kind regards

Ray Jones

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Why did you not sell the house when you first moved out please?

It appears that you agreed you would sell at the time but for some reason it did not happen?

Why did you not push that?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was told a viewing took place and an offer was made then reduced substantially. Susan said she would not accept this and took the property off the market. Shortly after I found out she had moved someone else in. Trouble is she also had a son living at the property who I cared for. My son who was living with me at the time went to his mums and I did not have the heart to force them out.

Thank you.

As there was a child involved that you seem to have treated as your own, then based upon the value of the house, you would not have been able to force a sale through the courts seven years ago in any event or at least, until the child was 18 years old. If there had been no child, you could have made an application to court for an order for sale seven years ago and the court would have ordered the property sold and even set the price based upon agents valuations.

What you could have them at the time would have been to got the court to order that she indemnified you in respect of any claims by the mortgage company against you.

That would not mean that they could not pursue you for the money but it would mean that you did have the right to pursue your ex for the full amount of mortgage which you were being asked to pay

In the last seven years, you did not have to pay the mortgage as you are not living in the house. You do
remain liable however, as you are finding out now, to the lender if your ex partner remains in the property and does not pay the mortgage.

Unfortunately, the fact that you have been out of the house for seven years does not absolve you of liability for the mortgage.

The only way of reducing the debt would be to get the lender to agree for you to pay half and for your ex to pay the other half of the balance outstanding.

In that respect, the negotiations would be better coming from a debt management company once again.

If you do not have a house with any equity but you do have access to a small amount of savings, you might be able to get the lender to agree for you to enter into a single payment IVA where they would usually take 10% of what is actually owing to draw a line under things. That is something to be negotiated either by a debt management company or an insolvency practitioner.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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