Cannot get Santander to remove charge from 20 year old Alliance and Leicester Mortgage

woolythoughts Forumite Posts: 292
Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts

My mum is doing an equity release.  This is not a post about the pros and cons of that.

Everything is in place in terms of the legals and the offer.  However, it seems that when my dad (now deceased) paid off the mortgage 20 years ago, Alliance and Leicester never removed the charge from the property.  This is now in favour of Santander.

My mother has given me any paperwork she has about it to check through.  The original mortgage offer from 1983 was there, and the valuation but nothing actually has the mortgage account number on it.  They were very unusual in that in the 20 years they had a mortgage they never remortgaged once.

Santander cannot find any trace of the original mortgage account and won't remove the charge.  Well so far it's been 45 days of daily chasing by the solicitor and they are "still checking records".  My mum still has the same bank account as they had in 2003 when it was paid off but Barclays  cannot give her a record of the transactions from that year (understandably) so there's nothing else we can do.

Is there anything the solicitor could be doing to speed this up or are there any steps we can take.   Solicitors latest idea was me or my mum go into a branch and see if they can help.  1. We don't live near one and 2. branches are as much use as a chocolate fireguard these days.

At the moment it seems Santander can indefinitely stop mum ever remortgaging or even selling the house.

Thanks in advance.


  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Forumite Posts: 7,518
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I don't think there is anything more you can do at this stage. 45 days is not that long in terms of dealing with an old  mortgage. The task has to get to the right team, then be passed through different 'levels' of expertise to find someone that can trace the mortgage from the data, then a decision will need to be made by a manager as to whether the charge can be lifted if there is no evidence that Santander should have a charge on the property.

    I think you need to wait at least another four weeks, and then consider making a written complaint. 

    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • user1977
    user1977 Forumite Posts: 11,711
    10,000 Posts Fifth Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 6 June at 11:25PM
    I would start the complaint now - I know none of the banks are fast at this sort of thing, but that's not really a good excuse. And if they can't find a mortgage account, why shouldn't they discharge the mortgage? Onus should really be on them to justify keeping it!

    It will be sorted though. Ultimately mum would be entitled to apply to court for it to be discharged, but that's not going to be necessary in this sort of scenario.
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Forumite Posts: 12,329
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    They were very unusual in that in the 20 years they had a mortgage they never remortgaged once.

    Unusual now, but perfectly normal then - people tended to take out a mortgage and stick with that lender until it was paid off. It was also quite common when you reached the end of the term to leave a nominal sum (£10 or so) on the mortgage rather than pay it off completely, in return for which the mortgage company would safely store the property deeds for you, so this could be what's happened here.
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