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Charge on house

  • pinkfish
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13 Sep 07 #3346 by pinkfish
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I hope someone can help me. I received a letter from my solicitor this week requiring me to sign papers for a pension sharing order but the box saying amount has not been filled in. The letter was sent to my solicitor by x in early august but I only got letter now, as my solicitor was on holiday in august. It says it has to be completed within 4months. We where in court in April, Decree Absolute in June. Tried to contact solicitor but he is away till tue and I am going away on sun for 2 weeks to complete a course I've been doing. I'm worried about this. The solicitor has also sent me forms to be filled in for putting a charge on the house for my legal aid and also to get the deeds put in my name.

My friend says I should not put the charge on the house as it is liable to 8%interest per annum. I am remortgaging the house in October so that I get it in my name and x off it. I don't know what to do and am worried that I am running out of time. The mortgage has to be interest only as thats all I can afford.

Thanks to anyone who answers.

  • dragonfly
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13 Sep 07 #3347 by dragonfly
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Hi, I am very interested if anybody have any experience or able to throw some light about satutory charge. I am in the process of finalised my devorce and hoping to use every penny to pay off X but will end up not having enough to pay legal aids

  • evergreen2253
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14 Sep 07 #3354 by evergreen2253
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Don't put a legal aid charge on your house - it is a costly piece of administration. My ex refused to negotiate an inch during my divorce, thinking she could screw me to the ground in court. Her solicitor was unscrupulous as far as I can see - he ought to have advised her sensibly.

As it was, the bill for the divorce ended up being over £6000. all of it caused by delay and non-response tactics. If you have no choice but to lay a charge on your home, so be it, but my ex was fighting the battle for a long time - it accrued, and so did the interest.

  • wscowell
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14 Sep 07 #3357 by wscowell
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Dragonfly, pinkfish,

Don't allow a charge to be registered against your house if there is any better way of paying off your legal costs.

Basics: the statutory charge is a "charge" - a loan secured by an instrument like a mortgage - secured against property like a mortgage. "Statutory" because it is created by the operation of statute law.

Legal aid is a loan, not a gift, so you have to pay back the costs run up in fighting your case. Usually. There are a few exemptions but they obviously don't apply e.g. the amount is over the threshold figure.

The stat charge is entitled to charge interest at 10% per annum last time I looked - we don't do legal aid any more here. So if you can borrow elsewhere at a better rate, go for it. You will pay less. You should tell your solicitor you are doing this so he/she can tell the Legal Services Commission that you will pay off the costs in full and that a charge is not appropriate. They will insist on it being completed within a certain period though, so get your skates on!

Hope this helps.

Will C

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14 Sep 07 #3385 by pinkfish
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Thanks Will C

I will try to get funds from elsewhere but it's going to take time and as I said I'm away on course for two weeks. I also don't know my costs the barrister told me at court it was 2,500k but the charge is for 5,000k, so not sure whats going on.

Pinkfish

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17 Sep 07 #3487 by wscowell
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Hmmm... the stat charge can't take effect if the costs are £2500 or less. That is the exemption threshold. But you can ascertain your costs at a stroke by writing to your solicitors to say "What are my costs incurred on this legal aid certificate?". They are required by the legal aid franchise to have a computer system able to give you that figure at the drop of a hat.

Will C

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17 Sep 07 #3492 by dragonfly
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Thanks Guys,
Just rang my sol to say that I no longer want legal aid to place a charge on my property. However, she is delaying the process by not answering my e-mail or taking calls. So I left a message with her secretary this morning.
I am glad to know that she has to tell me the cost about the cost of my legal aid certificate. She had not discuss about it at all even when I have asked.
She had suddendly sent me a huge bill of over £9K but I am arguing that it is too much.

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