Coming back home with unsecure debt

Auslang

Registered User
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6
Hi guys,

Just putting this here as this forum has great opinions and advice.

I have bought a property with my ex-husband who fled the country a few years later leaving me with an unsustainable situation that dragged on for really long.
I have emigrated to UK and live here since.

To cut a very long story short, with the agreement of PTSB, I finally sold my negative equity property at the end of 2019.
It turns out that almost at the same time, PTSB sold the loan, which now became unsecured debt, to Start Mortgages.

The shortfall of the sale is approximately 70k, not including the arrears which could amount to about 180k. I have never engaged with Start Mortgages on this or had any communication with them.

After 7 years living away, an opportunity now exists for me to return home. I have a small amount (25k) which I have managed to save these last few years to try and rebuild some sort of security. I have no intention of applying for a mortgage again, but I am trying to build up savings for retirement, since I have zero chance of owning property.

I understand that staying in the UK probably means it is unlikely for Start to pursue my debt further. I really want to move on from this after 11 years of fighting which resulted in losing my home, and I definitely am not willing to hand over the little I saved to a vulture fund. But on a personal level, I really want to go home. As I see, I have 3 choices:

  • Stay where I am.
  • Go back and engage with Start and seek an arrangement
  • Go back and not engage with Start and hope they won’t notice that I am back

My question is: what would you do in my situation? I don’t want the forum to solve my problems for me but I need to put this out there as I cannot think clearly at the moment. Any comments would be much appreciated.
 

RedOnion

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I understand that staying in the UK probably means it is unlikely for Start to pursue my debt further.
That might be a false understanding. It'd be true if it were a small amount, less than 10k for example, as the legal costs would outweigh what they recover. But you're talking about a significant amount here.
 

Auslang

Registered User
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6
That might be a false understanding. It'd be true if it were a small amount, less than 10k for example, as the legal costs would outweigh what they recover. But you're talking about a significant amount here.

The value of the debt is large but what they could actually recover if they came after me is (probably) small for the trouble.
 

Auslang

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But, you have 25k? That's worth pursuing.

So do you believe that they would pursue legal action to recover money that they don't know exists in another country? It seems far fetched but I don't know much about this, just going by other threads I read here.
 

RedOnion

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So do you believe that they would pursue legal action to recover money that they don't know exists in another country?
There's more than 10k owed. It's worth their while investigating whether or not it's worth pursuing. There are certain things they can do before spending any real money. Do you have a job? Have you a LinkedIn profile where you've stated your title? Facebook? I can find out a lot about a person without even having their address.

I'm not saying they will pursue you in UK, but it's naïve to assume they won't, given the amount involved.
 

Jim2007

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So do you believe that they would pursue legal action to recover money that they don't know exists in another country? It seems far fetched but I don't know much about this, just going by other threads I read here.

Of course it is worth pursuing. They may not do it themselves, there are plenty of agencies out their who specialize in this kind of thing.
 

Pinoy adventure

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330
I would chose number 2.come back and engage and try work things out.
It may work or it may not work who knows but if you do engage and work sumthing out you will have less too worry about.
 

Steven Barrett

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3,791
I really want to move on from this after 11 years of fighting which resulted in losing my home, and I definitely am not willing to hand over the little I saved to a vulture fund. But on a personal level, I really want to go home.

You owe €250,000. You don't get to move on and keep the money that you have squirreled away too. It doesn't work like that. To move on, you will probably have to give up your savings. Given it will mean that 90% of your debt will be wiped out, that's a pretty good deal. I'd look into what Brendan said, look at going bankrupt in the UK and in 2022, you can start all over again debt free.
 

Auslang

Registered User
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6
You owe €250,000. You don't get to move on and keep the money that you have squirreled away too. It doesn't work like that. To move on, you will probably have to give up your savings. Given it will mean that 90% of your debt will be wiped out, that's a pretty good deal. I'd look into what Brendan said, look at going bankrupt in the UK and in 2022, you can start all over again debt free.

I haven't squirreled anything away, I work, live a frugal life and have a savings account. I am very much aware that things don't work like that, I have been living through this nightmare for many years which was not of my making and as a consequence I lost my home. I am just trying to think of a future for myself that does not mean poverty in old age.
 

Auslang

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6
PTSB must have known of the shortfall at the time of the sale? What did they say about it?

They have consented to the sale but were not willing to address the shortfall. Even thought the mortgage was clearly unsustainable, it took many years of trying for them to allow the sale. The arrears accumulated for this reason.
 

elcato

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3,605
I'd go for option 3 but expect that they may catch up with you. I think option 1 and 3 are similar in that sense. It seema to me a question of whether you contact them or not which I would not. It will make no differance to them whether you initiated contact or not imo, they just want to maximise what they can get. Your only advantage of staying put is, as Brendan pointed out, that bankruptcy is probably easier as a negotiation tactic.
 

Thirsty

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They have consented to the sale but were not willing to address the shortfall.
I think it would be worth your while to dig out the correspondence; they must have written something in the letter agreeing to the sale?
 

Jim Stafford

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542
I can find out a lot about a person without even having their address.
As RedOnion suggests, Start can easily do online searches to track you down.

Not only will Start chase you, but they will chase your ex-husband.

No need to go bankrupt. (If you went bankrupt you would lose your £25,000.) If you make an honest approach to Start (particularly if you are living in the UK) then you should reach a deal. You should send your correspondence on a Without Prejudice basis.

Jim Stafford
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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2,523
No need to go bankrupt. (If you went bankrupt you would lose your £25,000.) If you make an honest approach to Start (particularly if you are living in the UK) then you should reach a deal. You should send your correspondence on a Without Prejudice basis.


I have zero experience of this myself. But is an average customer well equipped to deal with Start? (I don't think I would).

Would the OP not need some kind of professional assistance?
 

elcato

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3,605
But is an average customer well equipped to deal with Start? (I don't think I would).
I agree. Plus why initiate it. Let them come to you and even then I would not acknowledge receipt of anything at first. They can send a lot of intimidating letters but a lot is just trying to get a reaction.
 
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