How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Thomas Your Own Question

Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6461
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
28732269
Type Your UK Property Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I would like some guidance on the following issue.

Resolved Question:

Hello,
I would like some guidance on the following issue. In 2007 I bought a flat in north London with my ex-partner, who moved out at the end of 2009. The mortgage was a joint tenancy; however I have always solely paid the mortgage, whilst my ex contributed what she could afford towards some of the bills etc.

She has never disputed the fact that the mortgage payments were entirely my responsibility and makes no claim on the flat and has indicated this to the lender on a number of occasions.

Her only request has been removal of her name from the mortgage, which is something I am 100% in favour of. We have both requested this and I have completed and submitted a ‘change of parties’ (CoP) form to the lender.

The CoP request was refused because I have been self-employed since late 2010 and cannot provide the lender with 3 years tax returns/books to prove my income. Even if I could, on paper I would not technically be able to afford the mortgage, even though I have been paying it in full for the past 5 years.

My ex has now resorted to the legal option and I have received and solicitors letter stating that, she is considering going to court to obtain permission to sell the property.
At the current time, the flat is still in negative equity and if a sale were to go ahead, I would find it impossible to ever get a mortgage again. I am currently working in another part of London, but this flat is my home and if it were sold, I would have nowhere permanent to live.

I am still in contact with my ex-partner and I do understand why she has taken this route and in fairness to her, all she has ever wanted is her name removed from the mortgage, which as I have noted is something we both agree on completely, however the possibility of court action has brought this to a head and I need some guidance on:

•Given the above information, what’s the likelihood my ex-partner would be successful if she pursues legal action?

•My options going forward/Is there any way to prevent this process happening?

•Approximate idea of possible costs and where the burden will fall?

•Should I respond to the solicitor’s letter, or continue to deal with my ex-partner direct?

Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

I assume that you do not have residence of a minor child from the relationship.

It’s highly likely that she will be successful with an order for sale from the Court. The Courts do like people remaining on legal titles where it exposes them to continuing potential liability where they do not wish to be.

The liability under mortgages is joint and several, which means the lender can and will sue both of you irrespective of the fact that you have an agreement or understanding that only one of you should be responsible to pay the mortgage.

The level of costs involved depends on the level to which you contest this. It would not be wise to contest and force the matter to become comtentious. Costs can range between £1000 + VAT to £10, 000.00 and upwards.

I would reply to the solicitors letter and agree a timescale for marketing and valuations with a view to securing the best price personally.

Sorry it could not have better news for you.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6461
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and 2 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Tom,


Thank you for the swift reply, but if you could just clarify a couple of points:


 


There are no children involved.


 


I assume that where you wrote ‘The Courts do like people’ you meant ‘do not’?


 


I understand the issue of liability in regards XXXXX XXXXX mortgage, but surely the fact that I will be made homeless has to play a part in this process.


 


Also the fact that the property is in negative equity, surely means if it were sold for less than the original price, someone would have to pay the difference. As I have no assets, savings and my credit rating is mediocre at best, XXXXX XXXXX be impossible for me, so unless my ex was willing to put up the required amount (which I doubt) what would happen then?

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Yes, you are correct I omitted "not" from that sentence.

The court will not accept that you would be made "homeless" as superceding he r exposure to liability.

The fact that is in negative equity means it may be slightly (only slightly) more difficult to get an order for sale, but if she can evidence that the value is not likely to increase sufficiently in the short to medium term then she will still get the order.

You would both have to then negotiate with the lender on the amounts owed.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Tom

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
< Last | Next >
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
  • I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks! Ms. Baker Alfafar, Spain
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4433
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/Josh2010/2012-4-29_19490_GettyImages80121770B.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4433
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TO/touchwoodsden/JA.64x64.jpg Law Denning's Avatar

    Law Denning

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2289
    PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/Remus2004/2012-4-22_93111_2bigstockPortraitOfConfidentFemaleL6943985.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    2244
    Over 5 years in practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TG/TGraham12/2012-7-17_81212_bigstockBusinessHandshake508163.64x64.jpg Thomas's Avatar

    Thomas

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1198
    BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/chathamchamber/2011-4-24_191833_1.64x64.jpg INC's Avatar

    INC

    Solicitor-Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    809
    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AJ/ajlaj01/2012-5-9_14051_Profile1.64x64.jpg Alex J.'s Avatar

    Alex J.

    Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    400
    LPC, 2 Years Conveyancing
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    212
    Barrister 17 years experience