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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 9968
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am presently living in a house where my ex partner has moved

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I am presently living in a house where my ex partner has moved out 24 months ago. It is a joint mortgage (scotland) and he is saying that as of august he is going to stop paying his half. The website of my mortgage company gives me the impression that as the resident owner they would look for me to pay his half if he stopped paying. However the house is a large old victorian house and I use every penny I have to pay the heating etc and it is not ideal for work/ costs me a fortune in childcare as not near family...I am feeling vulnerable and isolated. My daughter has special needs and I send her to a private college. Worried they srrest my wages when he stops paying and daughter loses place as her fees will have to go to paying his half.
Thank you for your question.

You are correct in that the liability to pay a joint mortgage is joint and several. That means that the mortgage company looks to both of you or either one of you to pay the mortgage. If he stops paying then they will ask you to pay it all. It's nothing to do with you being a resident owner. It's the fact that they can look to either or both of you to pay the mortgage.

You would have a right to sue him for his half share but that takes time and it's rarely viable to sue for a debt which is ever increasing on a monthly basis. You may want to consider the capital claim procedure provided for in section 28 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 if you were financially disadvantaged in the relationship in his interests or in the interests of a child or children although I'm sure your lawyer will have explored this with you already.

The mortgage company won't sue you and arrest your wages if the mortgage falls into arrears. They will serve a calling up notice and take steps to repossess the property. Before doing so they have to go through a procedure to see of they can help you through what is clearly a difficult time.

I suggest that you contact them, face to face, and explain your personal situation, the fact that your ex is refusing to pay his share of the mortgage and it may be that they will find a way to help you pending the house being sold, for example reducing the payments, converting you to interest only or giving a payment holiday.

The main thing is to talk to your lender now before the problem occurs and then confirm everything in writing with them. Your lawyer should also ensure that you have everything from your ex that you are entitled whether that is a section 28 claim or a claim for child maintenance.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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