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  • FIRST POST
    • Jessicap0936
    • By Jessicap0936 9th Jan 18, 1:34 PM
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    Jessicap0936
    On the mortgage but not on the deeds
    • #1
    • 9th Jan 18, 1:34 PM
    On the mortgage but not on the deeds 9th Jan 18 at 1:34 PM
    Hello everyone,


    Hoping for some advice in an unusual situation:


    My brother Tom* brought a house with his partner Jane* about 15yrs ago. They had a joint mortgage with Nationwide. They separated after 5yrs and Tom (due to various other reasons) suffered a mental breakdown and was hospitalised. During this time he was very unwell, Jane persuaded Tom to sign the title deeds of the house over to her (they had a child together). Tom is still on the mortgage as Jane has been unable to afford to re-mortgage on her own. Tom does not know whether permission was ever sought from the bank for this change. He has checked the land registry and Jane is the only person on the deeds.


    He is not sure what rights if any he has now and how to find out. Tom would like to buy a house with his new partner but as he is tied in to the other mortgage this seems unlikely. Jane has also told him that she intends to sell the house and will set to gain substantially from the increase in value during the time its been owned.


    Thanks in advance for any words of advice, hugely appreciated.
Page 1
    • kingstreet
    • By kingstreet 9th Jan 18, 1:50 PM
    • 32,620 Posts
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    kingstreet
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 18, 1:50 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jan 18, 1:50 PM
    Did he have the mental capacity to sign when she asked him to do so?

    If not, he was probably subject to financial abuse while vulnerable and legal action may result in the transaction being reversed.
    I am a mortgage broker. You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jan 18, 1:54 PM
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    FBaby
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 18, 1:54 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 18, 1:54 PM
    A few issues:
    - Not being on deeds any longer:Well he did agree to this at the time and signed it over. The most common situation when this happens is when the person staying on the deeds take on joint debts that is equivalent to their share of the equity at the time. Is he questioning whether there was an issue with him signing something when he was in a mental state to do so? Would he want to pursue this?

    - Still being on the mortgage. It is surprising she managed to remortgage keeping his name on the deeds, unless they had just signed to a 10 years fixed? He would have had to sign something again the mortgage is still under his name, so would need to look into this.

    - Share of equity? I assume even though his name remained on the mortgage, he didn't continue to pay his share. If that's the case, then surely he doesn't think he would be entitled to any equity that was built after he signed the house over? As to any equity gained before, again, that would have been a discussion that would have/should have taken place when he signed the house over to her.
    • Gilead
    • By Gilead 9th Jan 18, 1:54 PM
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    Gilead
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 18, 1:54 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 18, 1:54 PM
    I assume they were not married as you say partner? Joint mortgage and he contributed to that mortgage for 5 years would mean he had a beneficial interest. Did he contribute to the deposit? Has he contributed to the mortgage for the last 10 years? If he signed over the property while hospitalised for a mental breakdown then that could well be contested.

    First and foremost he needs to get professional advice from a solicitor.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 9th Jan 18, 2:05 PM
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    parkrunner
    • #5
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:05 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:05 PM
    Did he stop contributing towards the mortgage payments after the break up?
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jan 18, 2:05 PM
    • 16,296 Posts
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    FBaby
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:05 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:05 PM
    So many things to take into consideration that possibly only both of them know? Maybe he signed the house of because he was being taken to court for a charging order and that was the only way to prevent this happening. Maybe she paid him a sum of money, maybe took on the debts, maybe an agreement that he would never paid child maintenance in exchange etc...

    Even if he contested his mental state when signing, it doesn't mean the decision would forcibly be reversed. How long was he hospitalised?
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 9th Jan 18, 2:15 PM
    • 15,068 Posts
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    zagubov
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:15 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:15 PM
    Maybe this would be worth pursuing. I've heard of at least one case where a court case led to a vulnerable partner having a decision reversed many years after the event.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 9th Jan 18, 2:31 PM
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    FBaby
    • #8
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:31 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Jan 18, 2:31 PM
    Before looking into it on the grounds of diminishing responsibility, is considering what he would be entitled to if indeed the decision was reversed. That would be taking into account the questions raised above (deposit, deal when signed, equity at the time, whether he continued to pay the mortgage, debts etc..) as no point going through this process (which will be costly and stressful) to hope for £100 out of it even if the decision is reversed.
    • Jessicap0936
    • By Jessicap0936 9th Jan 18, 3:11 PM
    • 2 Posts
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    Jessicap0936
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:11 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Jan 18, 3:11 PM
    Thank you all for the replies. To the best of my knowledge there were no debts or other reasons that he agreed to this signing over of the deeds. Tom is concerned that permission from the bank may well have not been sought as he doubts they would have agreed to this.


    He paid the mortgage solely for the initial 5yrs and then not since the separation. I do not think he is looking to gain any equity that he is not, essentially entitled to. Tom is worried about being liable for a mortgage for a house that he has no rights of ownership for. He is also worried about being in trouble with the bank for making this change without permission.


    At the time of the agreement with Jane, he was extremely unwell and was under the care of community mental health team. He recalls signing forms without any real understanding of what he was doing. Jane was insisting at the time that it was in the best interests of the child, therefore he complied.
    • armchaireconomist
    • By armchaireconomist 9th Jan 18, 6:22 PM
    • 188 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    armchaireconomist
    " At the time of the agreement with Jane, he was extremely unwell and was under the care of community mental health team. He recalls signing forms without any real understanding of what he was doing. Jane was insisting at the time that it was in the best interests of the child, therefore he complied. "


    He needs to go and see a solicitor.
    • thelem
    • By thelem 9th Jan 18, 10:01 PM
    • 667 Posts
    • 471 Thanks
    thelem
    Are you sure Tom is still on the mortgage? What was the fixed / discounted period of the mortgage last time he re-mortgaged and how long ago was that? If Jane is 15 years in to a 25 year mortgage then she can probably get a mortgage on her own by now, given wage inflation and the equity built up in that time. I'm not sure if Tom would be informed if that happened, and even if he was it might just be a letter delivered to the property, which of course he would not receive.
    Note: Unless otherwise stated, my property related posts refer to England & Wales. Please make sure you state if you are discussing Scotland or elsewhere as laws differ.
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