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Sale of house and surrender of life policy

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Sale of house and surrender of life policy

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Bankruptcy & Living With It
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boybeckhamboybeckham Forumite
11 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Bankruptcy & Living With It
Any help with the following would be greatly appreciated.

I am trying to establish if a well known bank acted unlawfully regarding convincing my father to sell the family home and surrender life and pension policies.

The events listed below took place between 1984 and 1987.

Having retired from farming in the early 1980's my father wanted to purchase a new business.
In 1984 he found a local garage that was being sold and applied to his bank for several loans in order to finance the purchase. His bank refused the loans considering the purchase to be a bad investment.
Rather than accepting this advice he looked elsewhere for the money and an alternative big name bank, whom he had never been a customer of, agreed to lend him the money,

After a couple of years, and further loans being taken out it was evident that the business was failing and a lot of money was owed to the bank. Dad got into serious financial difficulty and was made bankrupt (voluntary) in 1987.
Prior to him deciding to declare bankruptcy the manager of the bank persuaded my father to sell the family home and surrender several life insurance and pension policies in order to pay the bank back.

Whilst I accept that it was my fathers decision to borrow the money I believe that the bank, and in particular the manager at the time, acted very irresponsibly and unprofessionally.

I am looking for advice on the following:
If the bank did act irresponsible and unprofessional by lending him the money.
If they acted unprofessionally and illegally in getting him to sell the house or surrender the policies.

I have a copy of a letter that the bank manager sent to my father requesting the surrender of the policies and there are also a few letters regarding the house sale.

Unfortunately my father died, aged 82, in December last year so I cannot ask him for further detail now.

I guess I'm probably clutching at straws with this but it would be nice to see if I could get some sort of result from this, particularly for my mother.

Any help or advice much appreciated.

Tony.
Nice to save.

Replies

  • TheGardenerTheGardener Forumite
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    Tough one.
    My thoughts - for what they are worth (I'm not a solicitor) would be that if your father was effectively and demonstratively insolvent at the time the Bank Manager persuaded him to surrender the house and policies - then it was in effect a 'preferential payment' and under current rules, the OR would have pursued the bank in the event of your fathers BR to claw back the money to share with other creditors. Were there other creditors?

    You will almost certainly need professional legal advice on this and it may cost you more to chase the bank than you might receive in recompense?

    As you tell it, its seems an 'underhand' way to have dealt with things but of course hindsight is a wonderful thing. If the bank manager knew that surrendering the house and policies would not prevent the BR happening anyway - that might be the way to go?
  • edited 19 August 2019 at 11:15AM
    -taff-taff Forumite
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    edited 19 August 2019 at 11:15AM
    How do you know the bank persuaded him to do this? Do you have any written information showing this? edit - Does this letter show that an awareness of impending bankruptcy or does it suggest that the sale of any assets would clear the debt? Or does it not mention anything like that?
    [STRIKE]
    Because of you don't , you are relying on someone believing you have perfect memory of a conversation you weren't party to over thirty years ago[/STRIKE].


    As he was made bankrupt, the OR might well have issued an order to sell the property in any case to service any debts but that money would have been distributed amongst the creditors.
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    boybeckham wrote: »
    If the bank did act irresponsible and unprofessional by lending him the money.


    How on earth would you expect to prove that, even if it wasn't the likely case that everyone involved is now dead or cannot recall the circumstances??
  • Tough one.
    Were there other creditors?

    Yes there were. I have the insolvency documents and a full list of the creditors and values (totalling just under £24k). The bank are not on the list so assume that their debt was settled prior to the bankruptcy.
    Nice to save.
  • -taff wrote: »
    How do you know the bank persuaded him to do this? Do you have any written information showing this?

    Yes, I have letters from the bank manager relating to all this.
    Nice to save.
  • How on earth would you expect to prove that, even if it wasn't the likely case that everyone involved is now dead or cannot recall the circumstances??
    Originally posted by -AnotherJoe

    I have no idea which is why I’m asking for HELPFUL advice rather than pointless comments.

    If you re-read my original post I state that I’m clutching at straws.
    Nice to save.
  • FlyrightFlyright Forumite
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    Is it possible that the bank's lending was secured on your father's property and/or other assets?
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    boybeckham wrote: »
    Originally posted by -AnotherJoe

    I have no idea which is why I’m asking for HELPFUL advice rather than pointless comments.

    If you re-read my original post I state that I’m clutching at straws.


    I dont think its pointless to state that you aren't even clutching at a straw.

    My "advice" is that even if " the bank did act irresponsible and unprofessional by lending him the money" you would have no way to show that, so give it up and admit that your dad made an unfortunate business decision.
  • WhenIam64WhenIam64 Forumite
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    You'll need to sort out the parties to this one. Clearly you have no standing in this issue but your mother may have.

    Was she on the title deeds or would she simply be claiming a beneficial interest that was taken from her? If she was on the title deeds, did she sign anything.

    A chat with a solicitor is far better than trying to get legal advice on forums from people who are not legally qualified.
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.

    The law is like an ocean - have a swim but don't drown.
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