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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am retired but my wife seems to be making my life utter

Customer Question

I am retired but my wife seems to be making my life utter misery.
History - I worked in HBM Diplomatic Service since 1966 to retirement, often called upon to do short trips (up to six weeks) abroad unaccompanied. Karen and I married in 1982 and were (I believe) happy for 10 years, but in 1994 she deserted me and our children for another man, and divorced me. However in 2000 she asked me to return to the marital home having seen the back of her lover, and she was disabled. Perhaps foolishly I did so, and even adopted her new son. All seemed well for a few years.
In 1998 while, I was serving in Harare, she phoned me and asked to purchase two flats in our local town. She told me she could buy them both for £90,000 because there was a problem over land rights which she was certain she could solve. Unfortunately my appendix had burst causing peritonitis, and the doctor had warned me that I would probably die within 48 hours. Knowing that my pension lump sum would cover the £90k, but not wishing to tell her I was about to die, I agreed to her request. I survived. Upon return to UK I found that she had in-fact bought two flats and two houses, which she was doing up to let, with help from our eldest son.
I retired in 2011. I gradually discovered that Karen had at least 8 houses. Since she had not worked since 1993, I assume she used my name and credit rating to raise the mortgages. Indeed I found that I have mortgages amounting to around £1,000,000 all of which are on interest only, and which my pension barely covers. In 2014 builders turned up and demolished our kitchen and built a new bigger one with an extra (3rd) bathroom over and a downstairs (4th) toilet. She had never discussed these plans with me, but expected me to do all the internal finishing such as insulation plaster boarding fitting plumbing doors etc. I then found that she had spent my entire pension lump sum on the project.
About a month ago a the builder again turned up to convert our barn and stables into living accommodation. Apparently her plan is that we should move into this new accommodation and sell the old house and land. Though I cannot see where the money to pay the builder will come from and I also think that the house and land will be greatly reduced in value by removing its private yard and facilities. I have recently found out about two more houses she has bought bringing the total to at least 10.
I have tried to get information from my bank as to how and when all the mortgages were arranged, and where my pension lump sum went, but they refused, claiming they could only give such information to Karen who is not the account holder (it is not a joint account), and we are not married! Karen will not tell me anything of her plans but expects me to do all the housework and much building work as well.
I am desperately worried about the financial situation and cannot enjoy my retirement at all.
Could I move my pensions to another account without taking all the mortgage debts?
Phillip Jones ***@******.***
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

Whose name is ***** ***** mortgage documents?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My name ia on all those I am aware of, but as she has not had an independent income since ten years before the purchases, I assume she has used my name for others too.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Have you signed any documentation regarding this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I have not, but Karen is a brilliant fine artist perfectly capable of forging my signature.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Have you obtained copies of the Transfers and the Mortgages from the Land Registry so that you can compare the signatures?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure what benefit that would be. I know I have not signed up on any of her buy to let properties, and I also know that she is very capable of forging my signature.
It would be useful to find out exactly what properties she has bought, if the land registry enabled such a search, but it does not appear to work that way round.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Have you invested in a Credit report which would give you details of the debts in your name?