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Relationship Breakdown and Mortgage Arrears (Case Study: When Only One of The Joint Owners Want to Sell the Property)

I thought I would start with this one to blow away any pre-conception that repossession is only something of concern to the low paid. A terrible misconception really!

Here is the story: A young professional woman contacted us to ask for our help with regards to a property she jointly owns with her ex. They separated over 6 months ago, she moved in with a friend and they agreed he would stay in the house and continue to pay the mortgage. It was quite an amicable split, which seemed to suit them both as there was a high penalty for paying off the mortgage at the time.

To cut a long story short the women decided it was time to buy a place of her own so looked in to how best to free herself from the existing mortgage. She was shocked to find her ex had not paid one single mortgage payment since the day she left. The court date for a repossession hearing was already set, yet it was the first she became aware of the situation. She was shocked, appalled and furious as you can imagine. It turned out her ex was more upset about the spilt than he let on, and it seemed revenge was best served in the red. “I hope it [the house] does get repossessed, so you will never be able to have your own house again”.

Clearly this was not going to be a straight forward cash sale!

Our first course of action was to put Ms X in touch with a good local family solicitor who would provide free legal aid to help her obtain a court order for the sale of the property (as both names where on the mortgage and he was not willing to co-operate). Simultaneously we drafted a cash offer in writing for her to show to the bank that she was serious about selling the house and clearing the debt.

It took just over a week to get it all cleared up, then the cash was transferred, the mortgage paid off, and what was left over got split between the two. Ms X planned to put her share down as a deposit for her new house. I good result I hope you would agree!

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