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GMAC RFC Repossession advice (scotland)


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Hello everyone,


Just looking for some advice.


My property was repossessed back in Aug 2006 and I fought with GMAC til the November of that year to gain possession again via a re-mortgage to another company. GMAC delayed so much and didn't assist me at all in this which meant that I was dealing directly with the solicitor that they had instructed to carry out the re-possession/re-sale of the property. This solicitor was obviously very unhappy that she had to deal with me and that GMAC had effectively washed their hands of the situation.


The property was then sold on at a loss as I was more or less told that they weren't going to sell the place back to me for the full amount outstanding, I was informed and I went ahead and bought another property. No harm done other than the massive amounts of stress that go with the whole process.


Today I receive a letter from a HL Solicitors telling me that GMAC have instructed them to chase me for an amount of £15,377.78.


The letter reads...


Following the sale of the property, the proceeds were insufficient to discharge the mortgage etc etc and that I have two options.


1: contact them to offer to pay the balance and they will consider accepting a sum less than the outstanding.


2: monthly payments over an agreed term.


I have a couple of questions on this.


Is this a normal "they've sold the debt onto a 3rd party and I'm being chased by common garden debt collectors"? Or is this something that I really need to worry about.


I suppose I'm asking what my rights are here. The person I spoke to on the phone regarding this suggested my local cab, my local cab is over 30miles away and are booked solid until the new year.



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Thank you Sillygirl (or not so silly :-)).


You've given me the answer that I was hoping for. After 4 years of getting on top of things, living on a shoestring trying to make ends meet while I serviced debt, I saw this letter and was transported back to 2006 again. Not a good year for the Harper family. :|



I've done some googling and I've also found out that HL solicitors is a branch of Capstone which I believe cause a lot of problems for those in debt.

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I will dig out a link for you which says that GMAC have to refund people - it was on the OFT website.... I got a paltry £465 which even GMAC could not tally up on their alleged £5,000 shortfall on my reposession in October 2006 (which they have logged on my credit file as July 2007 - something I am going to hammer them back with!)


£4,500 of the alleged shortfall was an 'asset management fee; aka early redemption fee... when asked who was appointed, what work was done, copies of relevant invoices etc they clammed up.


HL are also known as HL Illegal which shows their status - solicitors for rent... Were you asked to contact a Mr Geoff Cooper by any chance?

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Yes. Geoff Cooper.


Thank you so much.


I was really upset with the way GMAC handled the whole thing. I knew I was in arrears with them, tried to get an arrangement organised and they put a block on it. They sent out another arrears letter (I'm angry at myself for not keeping everything) which I followed up on and then I got the eviction notice giving me less than a month to get out. From then on in I was in contact daily with them and their solicitor. I told them everything to do with the situation, that I had gotten a new job and that I was going to be away on training. They repossessed the house whilst I was on training a full week before their eviction notice date. My mother had to deal with it and I came home (well no home) to chaos.


I lost the house, my mother (she was only 50yrs old) had a massive stroke as she was in the apartment when they kicked the door in and manhandled her out. It was awful.


Anyways I digress. That link will be very handy SG.

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Hi there, you need to send GMAC a subject access request with the fee of £10 (send by special delivery). they should then send you everything they have on file for you including the sale of your property. You can then check if the marketing of the property etc was done properly. There are guidelines that they should follow when selling a property after repossession :


Sale of Properties in Possession

18. When selling properties which have been taken into possession lenders are under a duty to obtain the best price reasonably obtainable. A lender is not bound to postpone the sale in the hope of obtaining a better price at some future date; however, the lender should allow sufficient time to permit, for example, proper advertising so that the best price obtainable may be achieved. Mortgage lenders generally use the following administrative procedures for selling properties which have been taken into possession.


(a) The sale may be dealt with either via a lender's in-house department or through a separate property management company employed by the mortgage lender. Dedicated staff are responsible for co-ordinating the sale of properties in possession which will include reviewing the offers received from potential purchasers as well as monitoring the condition of these properties and their valuation.


(b) A valuation of the property is obtained from either one or two qualified surveyors and another from the appointed estate agent. Prices will be reviewed regularly based on local circumstances.

Estate Agents

© Properties are usually marketed through an estate agent in the immediate locality of the property being sold. Agents may advertise properties in the local press, with such advertisements being repeated as and when necessary. Mail shots and national advertising may also be carried out in some cases. In general, lenders do not market these properties as "repossessed properties" and estate agents may be specifically instructed not to do so.

Report on Activity

(d) Estate agents are usually required to report regularly on activity if a property remains unsold. The estate agent will notify a mortgage lender of offers received. Only when satisfied that the best price has been obtained, would the estate agent recommend this offer for acceptance. If the offer is substantially below the asking price, the agent must provide supporting evidence to suggest that this would be the best offer obtained. In practice, all offers are accepted or declined promptly. Where there are a number of very close offers on a property, a sealed bid procedure may be carried out whereby


the person putting forward the best offer would be the successful buyer.

Visits to the Property

(e) The agent will usually visit the property on a regular basis and ensure that any necessary repairs and maintenance to the property are carried out and that the property is secure. When properties are first put up for sale, mortgage lenders will usually arrange that essential repairs, cleaning and tidying of the garden are carried out. Whilst the estate agent will take care of minor repairs which are identified on the regular visits, other repairs usually require the approval of the mortgage lender. Where this work is carried out, estate agents will be required to obtain competitive estimates. Prospective purchasers will normally be accompanied by the agent when viewing a property.


(f) Properties in possession may be sold via auction. These properties are reviewed relative to sales experience and the length of time on the market. There are occasions when properties may be sold by auction because either the auction is specifically targeted at the type of property in question, eg a period type of residence, or the property will generally appeal to the speculator market because of its condition. Such properties are referred to an appropriate auctioneer. A catalogue would be issued and the properties are available for viewing.

Indemnity Insurance

20. Mortgage indemnity is insurance which a lender may take out for its protection where a high percentage loan is made. This insurance policy covers the situation where, at some future stage, the lender has to repossesslink3.gif the property and sell it and the lender suffers a loss. For example, if the property is sold for less than the amount of the borrower's outstanding mortgage (including accrued interestlink3.gif and costs) the lender can claim on the mortgage indemnity to recover some or all of its loss. The basic security for the mortgage is the property. The mortgage indemnity, therefore, acts as a form of additional security for the lender. It provides no protection to the borrower who gains no benefit, other than a higher loan advance than would otherwise have been granted.

21. In most cases, the mortgage indemnity will cover the lender only for part of its loss and, in addition, once an insurer has paid a mortgage indemnity claim, it gains the right of subrogation; this means that the insurer can reclaim from the borrower any money it has paid to the lender under the mortgage indemnity claim. Either the lender or its insurer may take legal action against the borrower to recover the shortfall if the borrower does not repay it voluntarily. In most cases, the lender contacts the borrower to recover the shortfall on behalf of itself and its insurer. This does not mean that the lender recovers the loss twice; any money paid by the insurer which is subsequently recovered by the lender from the borrower is then passed back to the insurer.

Debt Following Mortgage Possession


What happens to a mortgage debt after a home is repossessed?


After a lender takes a property into possession, interest will generally continue to

be charged on the mortgage loan until the property is sold. There will also be other costs charged to the mortgage account, including the estate agent’s costs in selling the property and legal costs.


The lender has a legal duty to sell the property for the best price that can reasonably be obtained. If this results in a surplus after all the money owed to the lender and any other party with a registered legal interest has been repaid, then this surplus is returned to the former borrower. The lender will send the borrower a detailed final statement of the account and advise the borrower of the date on which the property was sold. This statement will be sent to the borrower’s last known address. The borrower would be able to raise any queries on the statement with the lender.


But if the sale proceeds are not enough to pay off the money owing to the lender, the borrower faces a “shortfall debt”, which they still owe to the lender after possession.

What will the lender do if there is a shortfall debt?


The action that the lender will take depends on the circumstances. Usually, the lender will contact the borrower as soon as possible after the sale of the property and give a final statement of the mortgage account. This will show the level of debt still owing to the lender. It is important that borrowers keep lenders informed of their addresses after possession so that they receive this information.


If there is a shortfall debt, the lender may:

• immediately invite the borrower to contact them with their proposals to discuss how they might repay the debt; or

• try to give the borrower some time to get back on their feet financially before contacting them about repaying the debt.

How long after the repossession can lenders seek the recovery of the debt?


In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a lender legally has 12 years in which to contact the borrower to begin the process of obtaining repayment of shortfall debt; this period is usually 5 years in Scotland.


However, lenders are committed to fair and sympathetic treatment of people who have suffered the unavoidable loss of their home, and accept that individuals should not face long delays before lenders contact them to discuss repayment of the shortfall. In practice, where a forwarding address is known, most lenders will contact borrowers fairly soon after possession has occurred with a view to agreeing a manageable arrangement for repaying all or some of the debt.


Also, if you have proof that you were in a position to buy back the property and they still went ahead and sold it at a loss, then you should fight this all the way.


If you need help with the wording of the subject access request please let me know.

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My advice is based on my opinion and experience only. It is not to be taken as legal advice - if you are unsure you should seek professional help.

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  • 2 months later...

I just thought I'd update this. I have had the contents of my file (finally) from GMAC. The file is missing the information of the eventual sale of the property, the agents who dealt with the sale, my exchange with their solicitor as they wouldn't speak to me and the eviction company who handled (badly) evicting me from the property.


One thing that I've noticed is. I had a coversation with GMAC via telephone to get the details of where to send my request and why after all this time they were only getting back in touch with me. A young male agent on the phone said (I would need to ask for a transcript of that recording to prove this) 'you obviously didn't leave a forwarding address'. I have in the pack they've sent to me a fax from me stating my new address and both fax and phone numbers. The fax also states my intention to redeem the entire account which no response to that fax is in the pack.


Where do I go from here, do I get a solicitor involved or can I resolve this myself?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another update.


Since I posted I've sent another letter to GMAC (who have changed their name) asking a response on the following questions.


1). I stated in black and white (I have a copy of it in the file they sent me) that I wanted to redeem the entire mortgage, why was this ignored/denied?

2). I asked for full disclosure from all parties concerned but this wasn't adhered to, why?

3). You said that the debt is only coming to light because I had to be tracked down at a new address as I had disappeared without a trace. It states in the document mentioned in 1). my full forwarding address, telephone and fax number.


Needless to say I haven't had a response as yet and I'm not holding my breath.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm being pursued my Mr Cooper for a shortfall of £4,320 (of which £3,000 is the 'asset management' fee' and £500 for misc???? and various solicitors fees and arrears charges) I had to voluntarily give up my home last year due to severe financial difficulties. I was in an IVA when I handed the property back so the debt isn't included in my IVA payment and advised Mr Cooper that all I could afford was £10 per month. Despite me sending I&E details showing how little I have left, he sent a rather snooty letter saying it wasn't enough so I basically said take me to court then if you think you are going to get anymore. Now he says that £10 is fine but when my IVA is paid off (in 3 years) he wants the money I pay to that to go to my shortfall debt. I have written back now saying I'm going to complete a SARs request as I'm sure they are ripping me off???

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Hi Marky,


Please don't let this guy bully you into anything. I would be going with SillyGirl's information that you gave up your property, the lender has sold the property on and that you no longer have any obligation to them or any chancers such as Mr Cooper.

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Hi Marky,


Please don't let this guy bully you into anything. I would be going with SillyGirl's information that you gave up your property, the lender has sold the property on and that you no longer have any obligation to them or any chancers such as Mr Cooper.


Hi Harper, I certainly won't let him bully me, after everything I went through in 2009, serious illness, divorce, struggling with £100k of debt and entering an IVA I realised that I was basically living a life to keep a home I no longer wanted. Sincegiving it up I have had such a stressfree life and no one is going to intimidate or bully me, especailly not for £4000!! I'm also going to make him work for his £10 a month, starting with a detailed breakdown of exactly what I owe and how they have reached certain amounts!!!

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  • 1 year later...

Just wondering if you had any update Markyboy?


My final update is that I've had the amount removed from my credit file as neither GMAC (paratus amc) nor the very persistant Mr Cooper could give any satisfactory answers to anyone as to how they would and could enforce the debt. The alleged debt has entered the 6 year mark so I have bid farewell to it all.


Since my repossession I have to date settled (paid off) over £40k worth of debt.

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In my case I have gone to the FOS, who think I have a case against GMAC as the bulk of the £5000 they are after is composed of some dubious legal charges and a £4,500 Asset Management Fee which completely defeats the object of being repossessed. Plus of course they did NOT repossess me, the second charge company did.


Also Optima Legal have now dropped the case as well so there is little chance of any real legal challege, plus it is over 6 years... plus I am unemployed and have been for 2 years... so no chance of any money out of me.


Seems like Paratus may be changing hands again, probably in April (my guess anyway) as they try to dump the unenforceable stuff on another poor bunch of sharks.


Was your Mr Cooper called Geoff, if so they must be feeling rather sorry for themselves!

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  • 1 year later...

I didn't think I'd need to update this thread but hey ho.


This is still rumbling on.


They are now Paratus AMC and I have contacted the Ombudsman who told me to complain directly to Paratus.


The initial DSAR request showed them admitting liability in not contacting me after the property was sold to recoup the loss amount. They said they couldn't contact me and I have it in black and white that I supplied my new contact details during the repossession period.


They then contacted me as per my initial post in 2010. I requested a DSAR and they supplied it. What they didn't supply was any 3rd party correspondence between them and the 3rd party in relation to the repossession and subsequent sale of the property. I queried this and didn't get a satisfactory answer.


I (two weeks ago) found that the debt is still showing on my credit file so contested it and I've inadvertently alerted them to the fact that the money is still outstanding.


Due to this I sent a limitations of statute letter and requested a breakdown of fees etc. What I received was a one page letter noting my points but not answering anything and randomly a page of the house being valued at x amount and the purchase price £15k less and the contact details of the person who bought the property. Nothing about the statute of limitations.


Today I receive an answer to my limitations letter: The reply states because I've been in contact with them (at no point have I spoken to them verbally or noted down in a letter specifically stating I am admitting that I owe that amount) that I'm admitting liability.


"we note your comments in relation to the debt being statute barred but would point out that we have made contact with you within the time lines stipulated by the FCA."


Is this right?


The letter then goes on another two pages apologising for not acting on my change of address and the fact that they are not at liberty to provide any 3rd party correspondence.


I'm going to go back to the ombudsman but any help would be great.

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Stick that in your complaint, they are being 'inventive with the proverbial' here. The statute of limitations on mortgage shortfalls starts when the original action which led to the shortfall happened, ie when you failed to make a payment and they started the ball rolling.


The fact that you made contact with them is irrelevant, as long as you have not admitted any liability for the alleged debt.

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