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Mortgage Prisoners guide - What can I do?
in Mortgages & endowments
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We have never been in arrears with any mortgage or indeed with anything else, and in fact over the last five years we repaid over £100,000 of the interest-only mortgage - LTV of less than 40% - but still Santander kept threatening repossession. We were advised that in the circumstances no District Judge would award them possession. But the sad result of this is that when my mother-in-law died and her bungalow was sold (my wife's half-share wasn't enough to clear the Santander mortgage completely), my wife was so upset by the five years of threats that she no longer wanted to move, so we sold the retirement home we'd built and repaid what was still owing to Santander... which of course was now eager for us to take a new mortgage with them at an even higher rate during the lowest interest rates in living memory!
The pressure must be even worse for those with insufficient equity to do what we did. And no, Santander didn't ever apologise for their five years of threats and blustering. The worst bank in the UK.
We were "mortgage prisoners" because there were cheaper mortgages available but no lender would take account of the huge equity in the other properties because of the so-called "affordability rules" and although Santander had cheaper mortgage products (we would have been happy to take out a new repayment product) they refused to do so because we "couldn't afford it" even though we were over-paying £500/month for most of the five years... this went up to £1,000/month towards the end. Of course, they were making more money from the higher interest rate! But obviously we could afford the cheaper products, they just wouldn't allow us to transfer to one.
The threats of repossession were because the original mortgage had come to an end and we would only deal with the Bank in writing: they tended to lose letters and records of telephone calls internally but we had Royal Mail proof of delivery for letters served on their registered office. That was one reason why there was actually little likelihood of a District Judge awarding them possession.
I am in the biggest of messes.
We believe we are a Mortgage Prisoner - but Kensington refuse to issue a letter, because we only have 7 months to run.
The mortgage began in 2007 for 15 years and in that time we have paid over £210,000 in interest on a £280k loan.
We have always paid on time by direct debit, but we have never been able to meet the lending criteria to move to a new lender.
Which is made by worse because we are in our 60s.
WestBrom will lend to us over 8 years with a brilliant deal - we pay the same per month, but 60% is against the capital and that will in those 8 years take the debt to below 50% of the current LTV ratio.
We run our own business and in that time expect to either sell-up and pay it off or retire and downsize.
As things stand, Kensington are playimng hard-ball (well we are a very profitable customer and if I cannot move away, I default and they sell it and keep the profits on that too).
We have been running a complaint against misselling with the FCA since 2015 and although we have been told we should "get a refund of interest" - it hasnt happened and there's no indication of what that can be.
So. As things stand. In 7 months we will lose our home.
There are currently my family of 5 (all 18+) in the house and we foster care too! So what happens to the Foster Child?
Desperate for help.