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Put Under Duress (by Ex & Est Agent) to sell home

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16 Oct 12 #361234 by Div1LC
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:-)No he is not disabled (apart from in the head!-in my opinion!!!)
We converted a barn together, all my money used to buy and fund the building works, and to replace his income (he''s self employed carpenter & joiner) as he wanted to give up working for other people and do all the work on the bar ourselves. I continued working part-time as I did when he met me and so my income went into the pot too. I basically funded our lifestyle and during the 10 years we were together (co-habited for 3 yrs before we married) as he didn''t bring in much money at all, and where my money wasn''t enough we would remortgage some of my capital out of the property to assist funding our living expenses. We now have an enormous mortgage of a tad under £400,000 on a property worth according to his Surveyor, £620K. The estate agents valued it from £650K to £850K and it''s on the market at £775K with no interest.
(except one offer fro a flakey applicant of £700K who later withdrew their offer saying it was too much!) My husband has done the majority of the building work on this property, but I also got up and tiled the roof, grouted the 30sqm floor, kangoed up the floor for drainage, decorated, sourced materials, project managed, etc, etc, as well as holding down a part time job and running the house and finances. I had done many property projects successfuly before I met him, which is how come I had the property and capital behind me. I think I chose the wrong solicitor......my solicitor and his solicitor are probably in cahoots and just running up massive bills for us both :-(

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16 Oct 12 #361243 by .Charles
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my solicitor and his solicitor are probably in cahoots and just running up massive bills for us both


Nothing like ignoring the glaringly obvious and blaming the solicitors.

If this is the case why pay solicitors fees if you can capitulate to your husband''s demands? Or do you think that it is ''worth a punt'' by litigating the matter to final hearing?

To put the dispute into perspective your husband sees a valuation of £850k and you see no interest at £775k. Why would your ex settle at the lower figure? His solicitor has probably told him to be realistic but the hope of money does strange things to people and if he digs his heels in, the solicitor can only obey the instructions received.

Has your solicitor obtained a report from the estate agent on the number of viewings, the historical marketing prices and the offers received? This will assist in either reducing the marketing the price which may allow you to seek an order from the court that your buy out your ex for a specific sum i.e. if the estate agent recommended that the property is marketed at £675k and there is no offer within 3 months, you apply for an order that you be permitted to buy out your husband''s shared based on a valuation of £675k. The application might be successful or it might not but the value of the property seems to be the sticking point between you both and possible settlement.

The legal costs from the FDR to and including the final hearing are usually a minimum of £10k (each). Is this a proportionate amount to spend on your case? Can it be settled now or are you both too far apart? Have open offers been made which put you or your husband on risk of a costs order?

The final hearing is a lottery - usually both parties are unhappy at the outcome and, rarely, one party is happy and the other not.

Both parties will spend a significant amount of the matrimonial pot in getting there.

Then there is the prospect of an appeal which will add months and another £10k each. If you can settle by consent you regain your life, save some money and guarantee your future.

Charles

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16 Oct 12 #361330 by Div1LC
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Thank you Charles, I didn''t mean to sound grouchy against the solicitors it''s just I have done everything my solicitor has advised me to do, including making an OPEN offer to my EX. My EX didn''t agree with the valuations that 5 agents put on the house (they were all wildly different and so we added the 5 of them together and divided by 5 for the exact average) - he didn''t agree on this and so he insisted via his sols that he wanted an RICS Surveypr to value the property properly for Court purposes - this survey cost us additional money and we shared the cost of it. He would not agree to the choice of surveyor I wanted so I had to give in and let him use his choice. His chosen RICS Surveyor came in with a very low valuation of £620K and I think it really backfired on what my Ex expected. My ex promptly showed this confidential Court Valuation to the selling agent and I think that has not done either of us any favours as now the agent wants it marketed at a much lower valuation than she currently put on it, because she has been shown this £620K figure by my Ex. The OPEN offer I made to my Ex over a month ago was based on the £620K valuation that HIS chosen surveyor put on the property for Court Purposes, and offers to buy him out on a 60/40 basis which he had said would be acceptable, AND to offer to buy him out of all the buy to let properties on a 50/50 basis which is what he wanted also. All of these properties have mortgages from which he wants to be released and so he wanted all the properties put on the market for sale - however we all know that in the current economic climate that does not mean that they WILL sell.....so I have offered to buy him out now (by lumbering myself with enormous mortgage debt and mortgage arrangement fees of well over £15,000)at the full market valuations given by the professionals involved. This is an OPEN offer, and my solicitor stated that he will be at risk of a cost order (I''m not 100% sure of what all that means) but I can do no more can I? - I can''t force him to accept the offer can I? (or force him to sell to me at the surveyors official valuations? and decide on the settlement to pay him later?) I have given everything to this marriage in effort, love and all my wealth, and yet I still seem to be giving everything in attempt to settle and he gives nothing, and appears to not want to settle ahead of a final hearing. It is NOT ME who thinks a final hearing is worth a "punt" but HIM. He put NO capital investment into our properties so for him, he has NOTHING to LOSE and EVERYTHING to GAIN.
(REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR FURTHER ADVICE)

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16 Oct 12 #361340 by .Charles
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Well, you can''t make your husband accept your offer, your solicitor can''t and your husband''s solicitor can''t either. So rock and a hard place it is.

This type of situation occurs occasionally when a party refuses to see sense. The reason your solicitor has put forward an open offer is to compel your husband to see sense and make the deal. If that offer is later determined to be reasonable by the court, the Judge may make a costs order in your favour.

Effectively, if you make an open offer that is rejected (or not accepted which amounts to the same thing), and the court then makes an order at the final hearing in the same terms or more advantageous to you - the Judge is likely to order that your husband pay the costs that you have incurred since you made the offer on the grounds that you incurred them unnecessarily.

As your case does not appear to be a ''needs-based'' case, there is enough slack in the finances to make a costs order without jeopardising your husband''s prospect of rehousing himself with his share of the matrimonial pot.

Solicitors rarely ''get your hopes up'' when talking about costs orders as these are made at the discretion of the court and the discretion is wide enough that the most reasonable expectation is that no costs orders will be made and that each party bear their own costs.

I am surprised that your husband is rejecting the joint valuation. As this was obtained on joint instruction, your husband would usually have to seek leave of the court to rely on alternative evidence. That''s the double-edged sword of joint valuations - you have to accept it even if you don''t like it.

Unfortunately you will have to weather the storm on the grounds that there is no effective idiot-reversal treatment available to your husband at short notice. He may wake up and see sense but it seems unlikely from what you have said.

Charles

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16 Oct 12 #361346 by Div1LC
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Thank You Charles - that is REALLY helpful to me. Is there any way I can apply to the court to be allowed to buy the property at the official joint valuation of £620K? Can I be given "first refusal" over a member of the general public? It seems so unfair if I can''t do so after having sold all my previously owned capital assets which I worked so hard for as a single lady in my 20''s and 30''s sinking them into our property now owned jointly (in UNEQUAL shares -according to my Deed of Trust) for him to just turn round out of the blue having changed his mind on wanting to be married etc?
He is the one that wanted the divorce and has a new partner etc, yet he doesn''t want to see me left to enjoy the home I worked as hard as he did, to convert. He even hacksawed through the lock, then gave up and kicked in the steel dog flap whilst I was away, allowing his new girlfriend (very skinny) to crawl through the A4 sized dog flap and unbolt the three bolts and turn the key in the lock from the inside to let him in to take all my kitchen knives and some other random objects from the house? (He confessed this to the Police -but lied saying HE crawled through the dog flap and not the skinny girlfriend), and he has also made false allegations to the Police about me, which luckily the witness HE provided to the Police, would not lie and instead made a statement which corroborated my version of events (the truth). I think he is holding out for the Final Hearing set for January 2013, to buy him time to do something else unpredictable and to my detriment. :S

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