Guarantor of loans without knowing

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Loans
20 replies 2.1K views
Idontknow123Idontknow123 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Loans
Hello,

Can anyone please advise on what steps to take, if it’s not too late?

Today I discovered that my partner was chased for repayment of two outstanding loans for which she was named as the guarantor. Unfortunately she kept it from me until today, and one company chased her two years ago, and the other one year ago.

The first one to chase her demanded £18000 and the second one a year later demanded £12000. The loans were taken out by her violent and abusive ex-husband who died around 6 years ago.

She did not agree to being a guarantor for any loans for him. She did not knowingly sign any agreement. She does not know if he forged her signature or tricked her into signing something.

She panicked; she has never had anything like this before, she is a nurse and works hard and believes in being straight. She arranged a visit with the CAB who advised seeing a solicitor. She did this and was advised that there was nothing she could do and must repay the loan which had been accruing interest at a rate of 49.9%.

She accepted the solicitor’s advice and sought a huge loan to pay off the outstanding debts because of the high interest rate on them. She did not contact the police as she thought that her husband being dead would mean it could not be investigated, and she didn’t see how she could prove she hadn’t known anything about it.

I found out about the debts today because over the past two years she has changed a lot. She has lost weight, become withdrawn and has been suffering anxiety terribly. She had also talked of life being pointless and how being dead would be better. The subject of how she had become over the last couple of years was started by me in exasperation, which led to argument, which led to the above bombshell. She is feeling suicidal, especially with the fallout from my reaction to not being told 2 years ago when the first debt letter arrived.

I’m assuming the debts were near the time limit to become statute barred or had already become so, and that was why after years of nothing, the demands suddenly arrived. I do not know this for certain though - we are not currently talking. I will get more information.

Is there anything that can be done, or is it all too late now? She has years ahead of large repayments for these debts, on top of her mortgage and another huge loan for house renovation following several bouts of severe flooding over the past three years, including raising the lower floor levels.

She doesn’t earn much, has 2 children under 18, and is suffering. After years of bad luck, I’m devastated to see her hit yet again. I wish to god she’d told me before doing anything. I’m hoping there might be some way to improve this nightmare.

Thank you for reading.
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Replies

  • Gaz83Gaz83 Forumite
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    Continuing to pay the debts means the statute barred defence isn't a possibility, to be honest. And the death of her ex-husband means it's going to be difficult to prove she didn't know anything about them.

    This sounds like something that needs specialised legal advice. Normally debts die with the debtor, but I'm not sure how that works with guarantor loans. I'd also try contacting one of the debt charities, such as Stepchange, for advice.

    Best of luck.
    "Facism arrives as your friend. It will restore your honour, make you feel proud, protect your house, give you a job, clean up the neighbourhood, remind you of how great you once were, clear out the venal and the corrupt, remove anything you feel is unlike you... [it] doesn't walk in saying, "our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution."
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    If I read it correctly she took out a loan to pay these debts off? If thats right then she has as good as admitted liability, sorry.
  • Idontknow123Idontknow123 Forumite
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    What was the point in this reply? From all I wrote, your input is to question the veracity of a single statement I’ve made that actually has no bearing on the issue for which I am seeking help? There is always one.

    Nurses don’t get paid much. She earns 25k a year before tax. Happier now? She gets a widow’s pension. She drives a £400 16-year-old car and lives frugally. I pay one of her bills each month and lend her money. Has that sated your paranoia that I’m somehow, for reasons unknown, purposefully misleading people in my devious attempt at advice on a very serious situation? Of course, she’s secretly a millionaire and I thought I’d waste my time and other people’s by posting for help that isn’t actually needed.

    A huge loan by my standards, no need for the added insult of quotes. A loan to pay off 30k is huge for someone like me who has no debt whatsoever.

    At least your post count increased by one, eh? Why waste your time and mine with asinine responses. Move on to the next message.

    Satisfied?

    Thanks for your help.

    And a real thanks to others who have posted so far.
  • fworfwor Forumite
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    I suspect that the first two replies are correct, and, although you could seek further specialist legal advice, it may be best just to accept this as a past event that it's too late to do anything about.

    The fact that she has already consulted a solicitor with - presumably - no axe to grind, and they advised repayment is a significant factor to bear in mind. And the fact that she has repaid the original loan must be seen as acceptance that the debt was hers at the time she repaid it.

    It's hard to see how you could put forward any rational argument that would reverse it. If I read your account right, her husband was dead at the time that the repayment was made, so any case based on coercion would surely fail - so it's hard to see what would be left to argue about.
  • boo_starboo_star Forumite
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    What was the point in this reply? From all I wrote, your input is to question the veracity of a single statement I’ve made that actually has no bearing on the issue for which I am seeking help? There is always one.

    Nurses don’t get paid much. She earns 25k a year before tax. Happier now? She gets a widow’s pension. She drives a £400 16-year-old car and lives frugally. I pay one of her bills each month and lend her money. Has that sated your paranoia that I’m somehow, for reasons unknown, purposefully misleading people in my devious attempt at advice on a very serious situation? Of course, she’s secretly a millionaire and I thought I’d waste my time and other people’s by posting for help that isn’t actually needed.

    A huge loan by my standards, no need for the added insult of quotes. A loan to pay off 30k is huge for someone like me who has no debt whatsoever.

    At least your post count increased by one, eh? Why waste your time and mine with asinine responses. Move on to the next message.

    Satisfied?

    Thanks for your help.

    And a real thanks to others who have posted so far.

    It's not people taking a shot at you, it's just that £30k worth of loan debt makes it very difficult to get a mortgage, unless you're on a very large salary, which she isn't. Nor would consolidation be all that likely.

    Unfortunately the forums are frequented by "new" users who hide behind the "Be nice to newbies" mantra just to troll people. As a result, people are sceptical of fringe cases like this.

    Again, its nothing personal.
  • ChrysalisChrysalis Forumite
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    The problem is she already took action to repay the loan, it should have been check if statute barred, and if wasn't if she hadn't signed as guarantor then action taken into the fraud side of it.

    Family member of mine did something similar last year, paying a debt from her ex partner that was over 6 years old with no contact.

    So basically she is now liable, and has to go along with it or default.
  • SnowTigerSnowTiger Forumite
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    The first one to chase her demanded £18000 and the second one a year later demanded £12000. The loans were taken out by her violent and abusive ex-husband who died around 6 years ago.

    She did not agree to being a guarantor for any loans for him. She did not knowingly sign any agreement. She does not know if he forged her signature or tricked her into signing something.

    [...]

    She accepted the solicitor’s advice and sought a huge loan to pay off the outstanding debts because of the high interest rate on them. She did not contact the police as she thought that her husband being dead would mean it could not be investigated, and she didn’t see how she could prove she hadn’t known anything about it.

    [...]

    Is there anything that can be done, or is it all too late now? She has years ahead of large repayments for these debts, on top of her mortgage and another huge loan for house renovation following several bouts of severe flooding over the past three years, including raising the lower floor levels.

    Your partner has a mortgage, a huge loan for house renovations and took out a loan of £30,000 to pay off a guarantor debt?

    Whoever lent her £30,000 would have asked what she wanted the money for. What did she tell them? I'd be surprised if a reputable lender would lend someone money to pay off a loan they guaranteed for their dead ex-husband.

    Guarantor loans are (usually) paid in to the guarantor's bank account, which means it's difficult for someone to unknowingly become a guarantor.

    What would I do?

    I'd begin by making a subject access requests to the two guarantor loan providers to find out what information they hold.
  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
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    Controlling partners usually have access to bank accounts, especially if its a joint account, so obtaining a guarantor loan, without the guarantors knowledge, is fairly easy to do, with a little help.

    However, that is now in the past, and she has essentially accepted liability by obtaining credit in here own name and paying those original loans off, so taking that into account, as well as the fact the former husband is deceased, plus with the passage of time as well, there is very little that can be done in respect to that.

    The loan she took out, is it a secured loan ?, i suspect that it is, as unsecured loans are usually for amounts of 25k and under, if that is the case, the loan will be secured on the house, which means she has no wiggle room whatsoever, non payment will result in re-possession of the property, so as things stand, she can either struggle on with the debts, or default on everything, and lose the house, that is the stark choice with secured borrowing i`m afraid.
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  • D_M_ED_M_E Forumite
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    has she considered complaining to the lenders about irresponsible lending and the fact that she had no knowledge of being a guarrantor and such arrangements were made unknown to her by a controlling, abusive ex?

    Has she also followed up any such complaint b y taking it to the FCA when they give their response?

    Could be worthwhile, you never know.
  • Terry_TowellingTerry_Towelling Forumite
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    I find it hard to believe that the husband died 6 years ago but the loan companies never bothered to chase the guarantor for 4 and 5 years. Who handled the husband's probate? What did they do about the existence of these loans at that time.

    If no payments have been made for that many years, the interest will have been racking up on an ever-increasing balance and that sounds like something the loan companies could not do if they have not tried to contact the guarantor in a timely manner.

    I too am sceptical.
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