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Husband forced debt into wife's name - HELP

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Hi

 

This is not about me, but a friend.

 

I have a very sweet girlfriend who clearly has been in an abusive marriage. The kind of marriage where for more than 20 years the husband has constantly be-littled his wife. To the point, where she did what she was told - to keep the peace. I have no idea if there was violence, but certainly there was mental abuse.

Finally she has found the strength to leave her husband, move in with a friend, and confide in friends for moral and physical support. This is a huge step for her. It can not be easy to admit failings in such a long-term marriage.

She has also lost her children. The husband has "brain-washed" them into staying with him saying that "mum" is sick. So he is now in the family home with one of the children and she is out.

To make matters worse - one of the key problems seems to be that the husband had a gambling problem. And he forced all his debts to be put in his wife's name :-x This included remortgaging. The house is just in the wife's name.

So it seems that if the house is in her name and he has forced her to sign the papers to remortgage to pay his gambling debts that he has signed over all his debts to the house.

And he hasn't stopped gambling and the debts are mounting again - and again they are all in her name.

 

They also ran a business together. She was the brains and creative whizz. He tried to take over and reduce her part to zero. He has retained all the "bits" of the business to try and prevent her continuing alone - and is contacting all the clients to say wife is sick but he can work !!

Makes me mad to hear all these stories !!

 

I do not know all the details, but I am on here to do my bit to try and help her.

 

Does anyone have any advice on where to go to try and revert the debts correctly and legally into his name ? If someone is forced - under duress - to sign such papers, can this be argued in court ?

I just can not understand how a man can gamble, run up huge debts and then pass the debt - legally - to his wife ?

 

Please. Can anyone offer some good solid advice. I would dearly like to be able to surprise her with some positive help.

 

Thank you in advance.

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I think your friend will have serious difficulty as she presumably signed the loan agreements, and therefore it will be almost impossible to change the name of the borrower unless of course her ex has committed fraud by obtaining money in her name. If the house is solely in her name is there equity in the property and are the loan arrangements relating to the house currently being met

Edited by Crocdoc

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Thanks for replying.

 

There should be tons of equity in the house. I mean, they are (were) a working couple who bought property when young and would have profited from property values increasing. However, from the brief conversation I had with her, it seems he has whittled the equity to almost nothing with his gambling debts. The house is in her name and he has just borrowed constantly against the house - forcing her by the nature of his abusive behaviour to sign the documents which allow him to take money against the house value. I don't know the true extent of his debts or the value of the house, but I suspect that the house and the land it is on is worth several hundred of thousands of pounds, maybe even £1m+

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I think you may be out of your depth here. In order to help you need all the facts and better still you could get your pal to come on here. I can see you are trying to help but without all the info it would be difficult. Your friend needs sound advice so it is no good guessing some of the facts.

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Oh I am sure I am out my depth !!

But am hopeful that I can at least maybe even point her in the direction of a (london) lawyer - after some sound advice from here. Am guessing she has no money if she is not really working.

I think this site is fabulous and am sure some brains will pop up to help :-)

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Something does not sound right here. Presumably there would have been paperwork involved in trransfering assets to her, taking loans out etc. If the house was in her name, then the relevant secured loan payment would have been paid to her. Of course it may have been paid into a joint account and he had taken it to gamble with.

 

I would say that what has happened cannot be unwound. She can only seek to secure the current position, as it is today. The money that has been gambled away has gone. It is not possible to go back and try to recover the situation, apart from going down the divorce route, looking at any assets he owns and securing these to ensure that she obtains what is due to her.

 

Suggest the she uses this link to obtain a free initial consultation with a Solicitor.

 

http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/public/community_legal_advice.asp

 

Many Solicitors will provide a free half hour consultation to see how they can help or point people in the right direction if.


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Thank you.

I just copied that link for her to try.

 

I agree that it sounds weird. But you would have to stand in her shoes to realise how petrified she was of her husband. He was a bully. Most people could sense it, but most people do not like to get involved in domestics... If there was a way to force her to take full responsibility for his failings, then clearly he found it. I think they are catholic, so quick divorce is unlikely. I will ask and revert back here, but I guess the house was always in her name. I guess, when he started losing bets, that he looked into equity release, got all the paperwork sorted and then just asked / told her to sign. Then, wherever the money was sent, he had access and was able to use it to pay off debts, before more accumulated. Maybe he lied about what the money was being used for ? I will try to get more info and maybe that will make it easier for people to give sound advice. She already told me in our first conversation that she did whatever he told her to do, she could not go against what he said. Poor thing.

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