A well respected, award winning social enterprise
Volunteer run - Government and charity funded
We help 50,000 people a year through divorce

01202 805020

Lines open: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Call for FREE expert advice & service info

Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.

negative equity property issue

  • downbutnotbroken
  • downbutnotbroken's Avatar Posted by
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
28 Sep 12 #358349 by downbutnotbroken
Topic started by downbutnotbroken
Hi wikivorcers

Need some advice, as i can''t think of anyway out of this mess.

Ex-Husband kicked me out of the FMH 4.5 years ago, and i''ve been renting privately ever since.

The interest only mortgage payments were £650, but for the last 4.5 years he''s been unpaying it by about £200pcm. often he misses payments.

A year ago, as part of the financial settlement, he was ordered to either take me off the deeds or sell the house within 90 days.

He did neither.

He has now walked out of the house, leaving it empty, and renting a house for £600pcm. Not 100% sure of his intentions but I suspect he just wants the mortgage company to repossess it, and then avoid paying anything to them.

the house is in 15k negative equity due to the underpayments and general property drop.

I would like to take it on, but i don''t earn enough to get a mortgage for £128k (i''d need at least 28k to even get a 90% mortgage). i don''t have £15k to get the property in balance either.

I could rent it to cover the mortgage, but I can''t since i''d have to find £50k to do so.

In a month or so, I''m bound to get red letters due to non-payment of mortgage. He won''t care as he''s got no shame, no responsibility.

He earns about £40k a year, I''m on £10k.

I really dont want to have to go back to court.

Is my only option to wait for the repossession, or a forced sale, accept the debt, and plead poverty or go bankrupt?

thanks J

  • LittleMrMike
  • LittleMrMike's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
28 Sep 12 #358356 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
Ouch, not an easy one.
Firstly, do I take it that the house is in joint names ? I assume from what you say that it is.
One option which you have is to go back to Court and get an order for sale. Personally I would speak to the lenders and at least acquaint them of the situation. The danger is that possession proceedings might be started at any time for all you know.
If you were going to rent it, yes it may be an option but your lender must consent. The snag is that, if both of you are the joint owners, both of you must concur in a decision to rent the property.
My experience in cases such as this is that it is a very bad idea simply to walk away from property and allow repossession. The costs can be very high, and more so than going to court would be.
Selling the property does not get rid of the debt and there is the additional worry that someone has to pay the associated costs - clearly beyond you. Where there is equity you can at least pay those costs out of the sale proceeds.
If he earns £40K a year the lender would be more likely to go for him than go for you. This is one very good reason why your husband needs to take things more seriously.

  • dukey
  • dukey's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
28 Sep 12 #358361 by dukey
Reply from dukey
Just to add to Mike says, have you sent a copy of the court order along with a copy of Decree Absolute to the lender?, if not do so, the order should indemnify you against the debt, chances are once they have the court order the lender wont bother to try to get whats owed from you.

  • .Charles
  • .Charles's Avatar
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
28 Sep 12 #358370 by .Charles
Reply from .Charles
I wonder if the mortgage is in joint names? If not that could make a huge difference.

If the mortgage is in joint names, the chances are that the lender will pursue the husband for the negative balance on the grounds that they are likely to be able to obtain an attachment of earnings order.

downbutnotbroken should contact the lender, explain the position and be cooperative. Without any information, the lender will assume the wife is culpable in non-payment and will seek an order that both parties be jointly and severally liable for the debt which will impact upon credit ratings.

Perhaps now would be a good time to revisit the ancillary relief order, seeking an order that the husband bear the matrimonial debt? (Unless the original order allows for this already)


Moderators: wikivorce teamrubytuesdaydukeyhadenoughnowTetsSheziLinda SheridanForsetiMitchumWhiteRoseLostboy67WYSPECIALBubblegum11

The modern, convenient and affordable way to divorce.

No-Fault Divorce £179

We provide the UK's lowest cost no-fault divorce service, managed by a well respected firm of solicitors. 

Online Mediation £250

Online mediation is a convenient and inexpensive way to agree on a fair financial settlement.

Consent Order £259

This legally binding agreement defines how assets (e.g. properties and pensions) are to be divided.

Court Support £250

Support for people who have to go to court to get a fair divorce financial settlement without a solicitor.