While going through my divorce I received legal aid and as I did not have the funds to pay the bill in full straight away a charge has been put on my house. I was told that I would have to pay interest of around 8% per year on the final the amount, and therefore, even though I would not be expected to settle the debt until the house is sold I was urged to start paying it off as soon as possible in order to limit the extortionate (legal AID??) interest fees being added to the bill. However, over a year after my divorce proceedings ended, I received a letter from the Legal Aid Agency Land Charge Dept, confirming details of the charge on my property and saying that at present interest does not accrue, and that once the property is transferred to my sole name, interest will begin to accrue. However the house will not transfer to my sole name, it will remain in joint names as far as I am aware until the house is sold once my children are 18. I am scared to ring them up and query this in case they realise they have made a mistake. Can anyone advise if this is correct? That I will not in fact have to pay any interest, provided I pay off the outstanding amount once the house is sold? Or will I get a nasty shock in 12 years time with a massive bill for backdated interest payments? Hoping someone can advise. Thanks
I''m sorry you''ve not had a reply and unfortunately I can''t help - with legal aid ending a few years ago for the majority of cases maybe there''s not many who would be able to answer your query?
I''m sure one of the legal wise wikis may be able to help - I hope you get your answer soon - if not I suppose a phone call is the only way to find out??
Simple interest does normally accrue at 8% per annum as you have described.
Normally the interest does not begin until the solicitors
costs have been paid AND the Charge has been registered on the property.
There are situations where a Charge cannot be registered and one of these is where the outgoing spouse will not agree to a charge (the Legal Aid Agency require the consent of all registered owners to register a Charge).
In this situation the LAA may register a restriction which is not the same as a Charge but still protects their position.
It may be the case that there is a restriction but not a Charge in which case interest may not accrue. You should clarify the position to ensure this is the case.
If it were me, I would call the Land Charges department to clarify the position. They will either confirm the contents of their letter or confirm the mistake.