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Jason Bourne

10 years plus and counting

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Sorry if the post is a little long, I just feel the need to explain my position and how I have tried in the past to resolve this matter (and how it could have been).

 

I had a mortgage with a certain building society that collapsed. This mortgage was taken out in the 90's.

 

Nearly 11 years ago my marriage failed, quite dramatically and I needed to leave, get away from the destructive relationship. I left and sent the keys back to the said lender. The final mortgage payment that I made to them was also nearly 11 years ago.

 

I then heard nothing until 2007, then I received a letter from said building society saying that they had, "sold by way of absolute assignment my debt to a certain debt collection company". I also received a letter from said debt collection company basically saying the same thing. An amount of close to £20k was said to be outstanding and owed by me, I was gobsmacked by this figure, basically it had arose from the house being sold for only 40% of its value.

 

Got to admit I pannicked a bit, called them up etc and decided to go to the Citizens Advice who, I am sorry to say, werent very helpful.

 

Anyway, I started to think that it just wasnt right, I sent my keys back and they were saying I owed a huge sum to a company I had no agreement or contract with for a debt that existed because they had sold the house at such a low value. (I did some research and over 5 properties in my street had actually sold within a similar time frame for the value that my house was)

 

Even though I thought it wasnt right I did want it to go away and I did feel morally obligated so I made an offer. The offer I made was accepted but they wrote a bit of legaleze at the bottom stating that their acceptance of my offer was without prejudice to their client asking for the full amount. This is the point where I got angry, they were trying to deceive me, basically thinking I was a fool.

 

I sent SARs etc and asked them to show me details of how the house was sold to show that it was done responsibly etc, I also sent the building society an SAR and they sent me nothing, I heard nothing from them at all.

I eventually receieved a few photocopied sheets from the credit collection company that showed payments made, ie copies of an account (I could have typed it up to be honest) but that was all I received.

 

I wrote back saying this wasnt enough, I detailed what I wanted, how I wanted them to substantiate how they had come to the amount of money they said that I owed, how when someone gets their car repaired they expect to see an itemised bill, not just an amount. I also told them that I would report the building society to the ICO for not complying with the SAR that I had sent I also sent reminders to the building society about not fulfilling my SAR.

 

Until yesterday I had heard nothing since, today I have received a letter which states this "debt" has been moved on again, ".....debt collection company has assigned all of its respective rights, title and interest to ....the new debt collection company".

 

I would add that there is the usual veiled threat against my credit rating etc, on a nigh on 11yr old debt. Also, they stated that I should treat the matter with the utmost urgency, what, like they have!

 

So, I am a bit unsure of what to do as this is a debt relating to mortgage, the reason I say this is that I know that normal debt, ie credit card, loan etc is statute barred after 6 yrs and that mortgage debt takes 12 yrs. Does this stand when the debt is sold on, I am led to believe that this is the case but would like some help/clarification on the matter if possible.

 

Just to add, I have never made any payment since the last one nearly 11 years ago and I have never admitted liability to this debt.

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If the mortgage company was a member of the Council of Mortgage Lenders http://www.cml.org.uk/cml/home they agreed that they would not chase a mortgage shortfall after six years.

 

 

The CML statement

Shortfalls arising from the last recession (1989-1993ish) started being pursued in earnest by lenders and mortgage indemnity insurers in the late 90's and understandably resulted in much negative reaction and litigation. To try and improve the industry's image and offer some comfort to borrowers, the CML updated its statement of practice on arrears and possessions in 2000. At the time it was widely accepted that a mortgage shortfall could legally be pursued for 12 years although the issue had not been tested in the higher courts. The CML's statement at point 29 was as follows:-

'In addition, from 11 February 2000, lenders who are members of the Council of Mortgage Lenders have agreed voluntarily that they will begin all recovery action for

the shortfall within the first six years following the sale of a property in possession. Anyone whose property was taken into possession and sold more than six years ago, and who has not been contacted by their lender for recovery of any outstanding debt will not now be asked to pay the shortfall. The Association of British Insurers supports this approach on behalf of the mortgage indemnity insurers. In Scotland, lenders will begin recovery action within five years.'

The CML's statement was further clarified at points 30 and 31 to specify when this new voluntary 6 year limit would apply. In this case 'just writing' is sufficient for the lender's purposes to be able to comply with the voluntary CML statement. There is no requirement for the lender to have any acknowledgement from the borrower to then continue pursuing the shortfall for the 12 years provided for in law.


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That is VERY interesting, it was the Northern Rock. That said, is that agreement binding as per the statute or could the DCA still claim 12 as the original lender has passed it on?

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No it's binding on all members. See pages 9 & 10 https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:5jWQw7skLfkJ:www.cml.org.uk/cml/filegrab/A%26Psop.pdf%3Fref%3D4199+&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShhWhkFMwYSLfJk4X7JhfdDNBOj6JIWWicfxUjHJ6z5yv-Hk4zxbUxmLdoKTyqAglF3QzpdgOieEwrvB4ZEAPzcNWTewDI7uaNbHuGqo5fH-Cfr4lP2tix6JrbgdFinUqHuelfw&sig=AHIEtbTNGEKsB9YgQN7dbgRmisiZupjLeA

 

When a debt collector buys a debt they also inherit the rights & responsibilities. One of the responsibilities is adhering to any agreement the creditor has made with trade bodies.

STATEA&P.pdf

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Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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The above statement that you have posted is quite interesting in as much as it states that the mortgage company has to start recovery within 6 years. I was sent a letter stating the debt had been passed over to a collection company about 5yrs and 1 month after the last payment but it did not state they were collecting from me, just that it was being passed on. The DCA then said I owed them money however after I asked too many awkward questions they stopped correspondence altogether. That is until today, when I receive something from a different lender who the debt has apparently been passed onto. Now as of today the last payment would be somewhere in the region of 10yrs and 9 months old (from the last payment made for the mortgage) and I havent even been contacted for a few months over 5 yrs.

 

I have looked at the CML website and can only find this listed for the Northern Rock, "Northern Rock Asset Management plc (NRAM) Full member". I dont know if this is the same entity or if the Northern Rock that first owned the mortgage was on the CML or if it even exists in the same entity that it did back then.

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The CML statement of Practice also addresses the assignment of debts in section 32 “If the mortgage shortfall debt has been assigned to another company, the principles of this statement will continue to apply"

 

 

It doesn't matter whether they are the same entity, NR were members in 2000 when the code of practice was drawn up.


Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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Just to say I really appreciate your help with this, I didnt know any of the above.

 

What do you think is the situaton with regard to my first contact being within the 6 yr period? Now I realise that it has now nearly been 11 yrs and I have not admitted liability nor have I made a payment but I think they could argue that initial contact was made within 6 yrs, even though not by the company in question.

I am not trying to be negative here, just playing devil's advocate. Personally I honestly think they are on thin ice, that's besides the fact that I have never had the relevant information that I asked for from the SARs from nearly 6 years ago.

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They may have sent you a notice of assignment but unless someone contacted you within the six years actually asking for payment IMHO they haven't fulfilled the requirement.


Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

 

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

17 Port & Maritime Regiment RCT

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Just to say I really appreciate your help with this, I didnt know any of the above.

 

What do you think is the situaton with regard to my first contact being within the 6 yr period? Now I realise that it has now nearly been 11 yrs and I have not admitted liability nor have I made a payment but I think they could argue that initial contact was made within 6 yrs, even though not by the company in question.

I am not trying to be negative here, just playing devil's advocate. Personally I honestly think they are on thin ice, that's besides the fact that I have never had the relevant information that I asked for from the SARs from nearly 6 years ago.

 

I doubt that this latest debt company have any information from Northern Rock. Debts are often just a line on a spreadsheet, as they are bought in bulk for a fraction of the overall debts amounts.

 

If you want to reply, just tell them that Northern Rock are members of the Council of Mortgage Lenders and therefore they have to comply with all of their rules. This includes the rule regarding debts following repossession, where the amount is written off, when there has not been any contact within 6 years. Advise them that Northern Rock did not make contact within 6 years of the repossession.

 

Head the letter, I do not acknowledge any debt.

 

It is up to them to contact Northern Rock for a copy of their files to see what correspondence was issued and then to respond to you.


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To be honest they did ask for payment, that is the DCA not the NR, again though I think it is shaky ground as the NR did not comply with my SAR at all, zero correspondence, no justification for selling the house at 40% value which to me does not constitute a responsible sale. like I say that correspondence is now over 5 years old.

 

 

I think that the new company "may" have the same account statement copies that I was sent as the previous DCA and the current one have very similar connections with their parent company name, this info however was not enough the first time around to continue to chase me, it certainly was not proof of how the debt became what they said it was 5yrs ago never mind whateve they are going to claim it is now.

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To be honest they did ask for payment, that is the DCA not the NR, again though I think it is shaky ground as the NR did not comply with my SAR at all, zero correspondence, no justification for selling the house at 40% value which to me does not constitute a responsible sale. like I say that correspondence is now over 5 years old.

 

 

I think that the new company "may" have the same account statement copies that I was sent as the previous DCA and the current one have very similar connections with their parent company name, this info however was not enough the first time around to continue to chase me, it certainly was not proof of how the debt became what they said it was 5yrs ago never mind whateve they are going to claim it is now.

 

You are probably best to challenge them, as they may not have information about the history of this debt.

 

There is a case on here, where someone was chased for a Halifax debt from about 17 years ago, with various debt companies involved for periods. It has been been with the FOS for over a year, without a decision.


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I will definately be challenging them, as far as I am concerned the legitimacy of the debt is questionable even from point of source (that being the NR) due to the sale of the house at such a discount, never mind the timescale involved and the lack of information.

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If it's now being sold on the dca chain, they aren't that confident of collection.

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I hope you are correct.

 

I have just noticed something in the letter, it states, "Please note that in order to protect your personal privacy we may need to verify your identity". Is this a standard part of what you wold normally receive or is it them admitting that they don't know without doubt who I am?

 

As far as I am aware, if they cant say for certain who I am then they should not have even contacted me in the first place, or is there something that I am missing?

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I hope you are correct.

 

I have just noticed something in the letter, it states, "Please note that in order to protect your personal privacy we may need to verify your identity". Is this a standard part of what you wold normally receive or is it them admitting that they don't know without doubt who I am?

 

As far as I am aware, if they cant say for certain who I am then they should not have even contacted me in the first place, or is there something that I am missing?

 

These letters are standard. They may or may not know whether you are the person with this debt.

 

A give away in the letter is if it does not state any details of the debt amount or reason for it. If it does not give those details, then ignore.


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Just been reading through the attached letter for who are representing them, that does state amount etc, oh well it was worth a shot I suppose.

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I was just wondering with regards to DCAs being a third party, in order for a DCA to make a claim against you is it correct that you have to be in contract with them? What I mean is, when anybody first signs for their mortgage it will be in there somewhere that if you default etc that your information could be passed on to one of these companies and you sign to agree. However, if you challenge this point with the DCA and request to see evidence of your contract with them and your original documentation cannot be located then how can they show that you ever consented to such action under contract?

 

Just wondering!?!

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No debts are like most things. They can be sold on, but the owner has to comply with the t&c's of the original contract.

 

The relevant law is the 'law of property act 1925'.


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It's not a tickbox for you to agree, it is part of the agreement so when you sign at the bottom, you are also signing that you agree to that as well.

 

You wouldn't be able to say you didn't agree to that as they will be able to show it is a standard term in the agreement, with or without the original.

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