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Santander repossession hearing imminent


Kitty97
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Any positive advice gratefully received. Last minute I know but we’ve got a possession hearing this coming Monday and I’m terrified we’re going to lose our home. We’re £100k in arrears  (yes, I know) having had the most awful 4 years. Our franchise business suffered a downturn when we lost an account with a department store chain that went under and another major department store up north along with a number of franchisees.

 

At the same time, our daughter became very ill with major depression and psychosis leading to severe self harm and suicide attempts. I had to give up work to look after her as our local CAMHS was so understaffed plus I would normally have customers come to the house, something that was impossible due to our daughter’s illness as it escalated so quickly. She was hearing voices and seeing things and pretty much went mad for a couple of years. Her home and keeping everything the same in it, to the extent that we could barely move anything, became increasingly important to her as she was so paranoid about any change. She was eventually also diagnosed with very high functioning ASD/Asperger’s which explained some of her obsessive behaviour and had been something she had apparently been masking for years which resulted in the depression and psychosis. My husband also suffered depression due to the business collapsing and our daughter’s illness and some days was bedridden. 


We kept Santander informed at all times that we were unable to pay the mortgage during this time and sent evidence of the severity of our daughters illness. 


We then had the pandemic which affected our business still further. During this time, Santander just asked us to keep them informed as to how we were doing and that nothing would be done with regards the continued arrears. Meanwhile, of course they kept us on a super high interest rate just under 5% (while they advertised their sub 1% deals) and piled on those charges.


 Our daughter’s drs finally found a combination of meds that helped her and she was able to start uni with support (she is studying physics) although she still needs everything the same at home to help her cope when she has a bad depressive episode or an ASD episode. She is on maximum doses of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics,  has twice weekly counselling and regular checks from uni security when she is there. Thankfully they have a very good disability unit. The head of the physics dept says she’s the most gifted student he’s had in his 10 years there. 


My husband’s depression is getting better, he has found a separate job and we are restructuring our business. He has also started a consultancy and has a number of agreements and contracts in place that he is working on which would enable us to make lump sum payments. We told Santander last summer that things were starting to improve  and asked if we could agree a payment arrangement to either change our mortgage to interest only with the sale of the home as the repayment vehicle (we have 7 years remaining) or change to part repayment/part interest as at the moment the capital and arrears are too much. We have around 65-70% equity in our home.

 

Santander refused to discuss any arrangement other than immediate full payment of the arrears and the monthly mortgage payments and began proceedings the day after restrictions on doing so were lifted.  Surely having, in effect, allowed us to build up 4 years of arrears due to our circumstances it is unreasonable for them to suddenly demand immediate full payment as soon as they find out our daughter is not on 24 hour suicide watch atm? The person I spoke to in the Vulnerable Customer dept even suggested she must be “fine” if she could manage to go to university! They’re obviously well trained in the complexities of mental health….not.


 Given our circumstances, shouldn’t Santander  work with us and give us time, now that we are able, to get back on track? How do they think that after the 4 years we have been through we can magically summon up £100k just like that?!


Losing our home would mean losing our business (I have a home workshop I need for what I do) just as we are building it back, not to mention the shock to our daughter who obviously knows nothing of this. I have spent 4 years getting her to a place where she’s spending more time thinking about quantum physics than trying to kill herself and the shock of being forced from her home would take her right back to the worst of times.

 

Given the improvement in our finances and equity in our home, surely the judge would allow us to continue to make partial payments (we have paid 4 months of the interest on the capital and arrears since October) or interest only, which we can more than afford now and would give us the ability to concentrate on improving our situation, something that is nigh on impossible atm with this hearing hanging over us like a Sword of Damocles. We are confident that we will soon be able to make lump sum payments but this isn’t going to happen overnight.

 

Husband due to hear tomorrow re: promotion and pay rise plus a retainer for a consultancy so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. It’s all heading the right way but I was literally told by Santander it was just unfortunate that things were getting better for us when they’d decided to take us to court!

 

Apologies for the length of this. If anyone has managed to read it, I would be v grateful for any advice on how to tackle things on Monday. We have sent in an extensive defence pack outlining our circumstances and proposals and will have a duty solicitor on the day but otherwise we’re on our own here.   😕
 

 

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Hi there,  have you entered a defence to the court and if so what did you write?

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We’ve explained our circumstances with regards our daughter’s illness and how it affected us (with proof in the form of consultants/psychiatric reports etc), my husband’s depression, what happened with the business, how things have improved and are looking to improve further and the fact we’ve put two proposals in to Santander and we’ve had no written reply with reasons for refusing and no attempt by them to discuss any alternative arrangement other than immediate payment of the full arrears. 

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OK, sounds as if you have given your circumstances in great detail - I hope the judge takes the time to read it all.   Did you keep a copy of it all for yourselves to refer to in court?

I'm assuming you submitted a budget sheet and made an offer of payment?

 

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We have got copies along with other notes to refer to. We’ve also submitted a budget sheet and proposal. At present proposal is to pay the interest on the capital and arrears plus a bit over but if my husband gets his pay rise agreed tomorrow we’ll be able to offer to pay either the arrears plus interest on the mortgage balance (which I assume would be preferable as it would clear the arrears over the term) or the other way around-the monthly mortgage payment plus the interest on the arrears. Both options with the aim to pay lump sums when possible or pay the monthly mortgage payments plus arrears (capital and interest). 
As Santander do offer interest only/part and part we’re asking for either of these options as paying the outstanding mortgage at the end of the term would still leave us with plenty to buy another property (although, as I said, our aim would be to pay it off by then). Santander have told us they don’t offer interest only with sale of property as repayment vehicle but they absolutely do-with the proviso that there is at least £150k equity. We currently have £425-475k equity according to valuation last week. 
Given all of that, do you think the judge is likely to look favourably on us? We’ve been through so much as a family but to have our home taken from us now that things are finally starting to improve would absolutely destroy us 😔

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If your husband gets the increase etc confirmed tomorrow - you'll need paper evidence to take to the court.  Let me know as soon as you can ad I'll draft a supplementary defence statement for you to take to court to hand to the judge.

 

In the defence you submitted did you ask for any case precedents to be taken into consideration?  i.e. Administration of Justice Act or Norgan case law?

 

 

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Bless you-that would be so helpful! Re: case precedents-no. I did look to see if there was anything but didn’t want to quote anything I wasn’t sure was relevant or correct. How would the A of J Act or Norgan case law help us? 

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We can put the case reference and AofJA in your supplementary statement.  Both of these give the judge the power to allow the arrears to be paid over the remaining term of the mortgage, however he has to be convinced that it's possible for you to do that.

 

 

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We’re not in the position to be able to pay the mortgage plus the arrears at the moment. Even with the pay rise my husband is hopefully going to agree, we’d only be able to do full arrears (spread over the remaining term) plus interest on the remaining mortgage or the mortgage payment plus the interest on the arrears. Once the business is back up and running and the consultancy starts to pay commissions though, we’d be able to start paying lump sums or change to paying both the full repayments and arrears. 
Given the amount of equity in our home though, do you think the judge might agree to our proposal of either capitalising the arrears and changing the mortgage to interest only (more than affordable and with the ability to pay extra on top) or the part repayment/part interest only option? House valued at  £650-675k+, mortgage £125, arrears £100k. 

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17 hours ago, Ell-enn said:

If your husband gets the increase etc confirmed tomorrow - you'll need paper evidence to take to the court.  Let me know as soon as you can ad I'll draft a supplementary defence statement for you to take to court to hand to the judge.

 

In the defence you submitted did you ask for any case precedents to be taken into consideration?  i.e. Administration of Justice Act or Norgan case law?

 

 

Hi there,

 

husband has had pay increase confirmed which would enable us to pay arrears plus interest on mortgage balance at this point.  He’s also waiting confirmation of a consultancy retainer which he may get today/tomorrow which would be another £1250 a month but obvs that’s not a certainty yet.

 

Given that our income has now effectively doubled and will increase as we build our business back up, what do you think the chances are if judge letting us make these reduced payments while we continue to improve things when he’ll be able to see things are moving positively?  If we were able to change to an interest only mortgage with sale of property as repayment vehicle as is offered to other customers, we could easily afford it going forward plus pay extra on top even if we were relying solely on his employed job.

 

The “only” sticking point is the arrears but if they were capitalised we’d be fine. We have more than enough equity to pay it all off and buy another property (we’re in a 5 bed atm so would be looking to downsize). Santander refusing to consider this or any other proposal other than full immediate repayment of arrears and possession even though they’ve not given us a written reply to our proposals of payment and change of terms (paras 5.5 and 5.6 of pre-action protocol).

 

Their solicitors have also said that we haven’t made any proposals and that therefore they haven’t rejected any but a member of staff at Santander told me over the phone our proposal of interest only wouldn’t be accepted having in the same conversation told me that potentially an arrangement could be agreed.

 

Funnily enough, having asked for a copy of phone calls made (after solicitors claimed they hadn’t been able to contact us), the recording of the day I discussed a potential temporary arrangement with regards interest only-part interest/part capital that could potentially halt legal proceedings was missing from the disc and “hadn’t been able to be traced” for some reason. 
 

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The problem you will have with asking to make reduced monthly payments is that the judge cannot change the terms and conditions of the mortgage (which includes contractual monthly payments) - it is sometimes possible to do this if the property is up for sale and completion is imminent.  But the lender would have to agree.  If you were able to make normal monthly payments plus something towards the arrears the judge would be able to consider that.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Ell-enn said:

The problem you will have with asking to make reduced monthly payments is that the judge cannot change the terms and conditions of the mortgage (which includes contractual monthly payments) - it is sometimes possible to do this if the property is up for sale and completion is imminent.  But the lender would have to agree.  If you were able to make normal monthly payments plus something towards the arrears the judge would be able to consider that.

 

 

If my husband gets the retainer we could do that but only not enough towards the arrears atm to clear it in 7 years as we just wouldn’t have enough to pay everything else until our business started paying more. Santander have told me they’re not repossessing atm (despite the possession claim) so when we tell the solicitors about my husband’s pay rise is there any possibility, given our family circumstances, that they may consider agreeing reduced payments for now or even changing our mortgage type to interest only? If they take the house, we’ll have no business either but more importantly, the ramifications with regards our daughter’s mental health are beyond serious. 

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You'd have to get Santander to agree to all that.  However, at this possession hearing, you shouldhopefully  get a suspended possession order which would then give you time to negotiate further with Santander .   I'll put together a supplementary statement for you to take along to the court on Monday - will affix it to this thread - probably in the morning if that's ok ?

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5 minutes ago, Ell-enn said:

You'd have to get Santander to agree to all that.  However, at this possession hearing, you shouldhopefully  get a suspended possession order which would then give you time to negotiate further with Santander .   I'll put together a supplementary statement for you to take along to the court on Monday - will affix it to this thread - probably in the morning if that's ok ?

That would be great-thanks so much for your help. Do you think the judge will look on our circumstances sympathetically and ask Santander to work with us to get through this? I cannot get my head around the possibility that we could be ordered out of our home considering what would happen. My husband has been talking of how we’d be better off without him. He’d been doing so much better with his mental health as things started to improve with our daughter and our finances but he’s in a really bad place atm and I need him to be strong for Monday 😕

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I'm sure the judge will be sympathetic but as I said there are certain things he cannot do - let's not worry about that at the moment.   If the judge awards a suspended possession order on Monday the conditions of the order could be that a period of time ( perhaps 28 days) is ordered for you and Santander to reach a way forward there would then be a further hearing to put the findings to the judge.  Alternatively the judge may order possession in 28 days, in which case you would have to apply to the court for a hearing to stop eviction - but all this is hypothetical let's wait and see what happens on |Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is the mortgage in joint names ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks

What time is your hearing on Monday ?

 

I assume you're ok to edit Word documents and print out ?

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8 minutes ago, Ell-enn said:

Thanks

What time is your hearing on Monday ?

 

I assume you're ok to edit Word documents and print out ?

11.30. Yes, fine to do that. 

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Hi,  affixed is the statement to take to court.  You need to fill in the boxes at the top (info will be on your court documents) - also replace any XXX's in the statement.   If your husband has had confirmation of the consultancy you need to add that into the sentence about the promotion.   Affix a copy of promotion confirmation (and consultancy if confirmed).  

You both need to sign.  You will need 3 sets of it all - 1 for the judge, 1 for the claimant and one for yourselves.

 

You'll notice that the statement is fairly brief,  this is so the judge doesn't get distracted by long paragraphs of details - he will already have that in the document you previously submitted and he can refer to that during the hearing.  Also these hearings are only usually afforded 15 minutes.   The hearing will take place in a room much like a meeting room (not like courts you see on TV)   there will just be the judge, yourselves and the lender's representative - it is not a public court.

 

You should get to the court early and ask the usher if there are any duty legal advisers in attendance - if so you should approach them and ask for their assistance - they can accompany you into the court room and support your case.

Once in the courtroom,  the judge will begin to summarise the case - do NOT interrupt him - once he has finished you should say "Sir(or Madam) - can I submit further information"  then just hand it to him and also to the rep for the other side. 

 

Good luck and try to stay focused, it will soon be over.  Please let us know what happens - we can then help you with what you need to do going forward.

Kitty97 Statement for court.doc

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56 minutes ago, Ell-enn said:

Hi,  affixed is the statement to take to court.  You need to fill in the boxes at the top (info will be on your court documents) - also replace any XXX's in the statement.   If your husband has had confirmation of the consultancy you need to add that into the sentence about the promotion.   Affix a copy of promotion confirmation (and consultancy if confirmed).  

You both need to sign.  You will need 3 sets of it all - 1 for the judge, 1 for the claimant and one for yourselves.

 

You'll notice that the statement is fairly brief,  this is so the judge doesn't get distracted by long paragraphs of details - he will already have that in the document you previously submitted and he can refer to that during the hearing.  Also these hearings are only usually afforded 15 minutes.   The hearing will take place in a room much like a meeting room (not like courts you see on TV)   there will just be the judge, yourselves and the lender's representative - it is not a public court.

 

You should get to the court early and ask the usher if there are any duty legal advisers in attendance - if so you should approach them and ask for their assistance - they can accompany you into the court room and support your case.

Once in the courtroom,  the judge will begin to summarise the case - do NOT interrupt him - once he has finished you should say "Sir(or Madam) - can I submit further information"  then just hand it to him and also to the rep for the other side. 

 

Good luck and try to stay focused, it will soon be over.  Please let us know what happens - we can then help you with what you need to do going forward.

Kitty97 Statement for court.doc 23 kB · 1 download

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. I really appreciate it. 🥺 I know I’ll probably have to bite my lip re: interrupting. I’m hoping I can keep calm and not be a sobbing mess-unless that’ll help our case 😢
My husband hasn’t had confirmation of the consultancy yet but the company seem keen to take him on so hopefully that’s imminent. Don’t think he’ll get it before the hearing though 😕 I’m hoping that as Santander’s solicitors have stated that we haven’t made any proposals of payment when we have and the fact that I have it recorded that “higher management” have refused to consider any proposals (other than full immediate payment of the arrears) the judge will instruct them to work with us to agree a payment arrangement especially given our daughter’s circumstances and the fact that taking our home from us would also end our business and I’d be unemployed 😕

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Hopefully there will be duty legal advisors to help you through the hearing.  Which court it it?

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Just remember this is a supplementary statement - do not add any extra paragraphs - the judge will simply not have time to read a lot - he will have already read your earlier submission before the hearing,  you are just updating him

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20 minutes ago, Kitty97 said:

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this. I really appreciate it. 🥺 I know I’ll probably have to bite my lip re: interrupting. I’m hoping I can keep calm and not be a sobbing mess-unless that’ll help our case 😢
My husband hasn’t had confirmation of the consultancy yet but the company seem keen to take him on so hopefully that’s imminent. Don’t think he’ll get it before the hearing though 😕 I’m hoping that as Santander’s solicitors have stated that we haven’t made any proposals of payment when we have and the fact that I have it recorded that “higher management” have refused to consider any proposals (other than full immediate payment of the arrears) the judge will instruct them to work with us to agree a payment arrangement especially given our daughter’s circumstances and the fact that taking our home from us would also end our business and I’d be unemployed 😕

Just looking up the Act. Should I include the amendment-Section 8 of the Administration of Justice Act? Would that help our case too?? 

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