Mortgage Express are forcing me to sell my home – HELP!

Mortgage Express are forcing me to sell my home – HELP!

16:19 PM, 21st March 2013, About 9 years ago 148

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Mortgage Express are forcing me to sell my homeI own a property in the UK that I rent out since being made redundant, getting offered work in Spain and moving approx 4 years ago. My UK property is my only home and I intend on returning to live in it when the UK comes out of recession and I can get a decent job again. I have a standard variable residential mortgage with Mortgage Express.

I did not tell Mortgage express initially that I was renting my house out as it is my only home, I plan to return there and I do not know how long my work will last in Spain.

They have now been advised and are refusing to give us permission to rent the property out. Therefore they are saying that we are now in breach of contract. They are giving us no options whatsoever with them, they won’t change us to a buy-to-let mortgage and they will not give us more time to improve our LTV rate to be able to remortgage with another company.

We have been told we can not currently remortgage as the LTV is very high and we live in Spain. We are unable to sell as the sale price will not cover the mortgage, second charge on the property and the sale/solicitor fees.

Mortgage Express as saying that if we do not do any of these they will foreclose the mortgage and repossess our home.

We have been a loyal customer for 10 years, we have never been late or missed a payment, and now we have very good, loyal, paying tennants who is enabling us to pay the mortgage each month.

On top of the monthly mortgage payments we want to pay them extra to repay the capital as quickly as we can, or at least lower the mortgage value to improve the LTV.

They will do not do anything to help us.

We feel we are being treated very unfairly. Where they have been bought out by the Government they have changed their policies and taken away all of our options. We did not give permission for these changes, we did not sign anything to adhere to their new policies and we want to know how that affects the mortgage contract with us and if we have any case against them.

All advice very much appreciated.

Gary Byrne


by Mark Alexander

14:08 PM, 5th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Vanessa Warwick" at "05/09/2013 - 13:56":

Hi Vanessa

Mortgage express tried to engage with the landlord community back in May 2011 to explain their exit strategies, the outcome was uproar - see >>>

Given that MX were the biggest of all the pre-credit crunch buy to let lenders I fully understand why you have picked up so much traction from your latest thread.

MX are using bully tactics in that they pick on the weak and naive. Gary's story is a classic tale of standing up to bullies and watching them back off. MX gave up trying to sell me their choices mortgage overpayment plan and to persuade me for a "review" a long time ago after I gave them a flea in their ear about treating customers fairly and raising a formal complaint. The best way to stand up to bullies is to fight back, just as Gary has done. It matters not whether you are a BTL or resi borrower. Play by the rules but do not engage with them unless they engage via your lawyers. Remember, they want to do reviews so that they can find an angle to call in loans. Nobody is obliged to agree to a review so far as I can tell from the T&C's I agreed to.

by Vanessa Warwick

14:18 PM, 5th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Hi Mark,

With respect, while I am flattered that MX chose a Property Tribes event to reveal their strategy, I do not believe that it constitutes "engaging with the landlord community".

There were probably 70 people there ... but there are 1.5 million landlords in the U.K.

The best way to reach as many people as possible to is engage on-line. No question about it.

I do not agree that they are bullies, although they will undoubtedly go for the "low hanging fruit" first .... people in arrears or people who do not put up a fight. That is why we (P118 and PT) must provide support and correct information for LL's.

Tax payer's money saved MX and it needs to be paid back.

However, I do believe that MX loans should be allowed to run to term in fairness to landlords who had a long term strategy.

When interest rates rise, a lot of MX NMD landlords will fail as they are currently "Zombie landlords" and only surviving because of low interest rates.

Thankfully, I never got into MX until late in the day and only have 3 mortgages with them, all properties in positive cash flow and equity.

However, many people, including some of the biggest name property gurus, built their portfolios entirely on free and easy MX products and will be in negative equity and some even negative cashflow.

There will be massive fall out with MX landlords when interest rates rise and some high profile names will topple for sure ...

by Mark Alexander

15:08 PM, 5th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Hi Vanessa, it was the online backlash and uproar I was referring to, not the 70 landlords in the room on the day, many of which were too stunned to speak up at the time I've heard.

BTW it wasn't the taxpayers money when it was borrowed in good faith. The regime running MX now are bullies at best IMHO, many have far more choice words to describe their despicable and totally immoral exit strategies!

Some gurus may topple but I have good reasons to believe that low interest rates will extend well beyond a run in capital growth and that could well save the day for all concerned. Meantime I agree that landlords must share knowledge, experience and strategies.

by Vanessa Warwick

15:23 PM, 5th September 2013, About 8 years ago

But did MX engage *on-line* Mark? I have never seen them, but please correct me if I am wrong.

A load of landlords all worrying and sounding off is one thing ... but if MX are not involved in the dialogue then everything is just supposition or assumption.

Until we have definitive answers from the horse's mouth (MX), we can only wonder at how far MX are going to push this and what we as landlords can do to stay under their radar, other than making mortgage payments on time ....

by Gary Byrne

15:25 PM, 5th September 2013, About 8 years ago

@ Vanessa, You do not agree that MX are bullies? What is going for the¨ low hanging fruit¨ first and people in arrears that don´´t put up a fight? Surely that is picking on the weak or, if you like, bullying. If I have managed to get rid of them then surely what I did must apply to everyone and on a level playing field. Why should my case be any different to the next.? Some of us fall on hard times and may struggle to deal with it. Instead of helping those people in a million different ways MX pressure them. All those that buckle lose their houses, their pride, their dignity etc and MX dont give a toss. This is wrong on so many levels and if people don´t start waking up, companies like MX will keep going. They cannot take everyone to court can they? People need to get together and take back control. If I don´t agree to something I will tell them so. 5 years ago I lost my job and did what i needed to keep my house and my pension. I have paid over 10 years on my mortgage and i´ll be damned if they are going to take my house back. We all have more rights than we know and as soon as people start waking up to this the better. Rant over

by Vanessa Warwick

15:33 PM, 5th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Rant away Gary!

Bullies is the wrong word. MX have a remit to repay the taxpayer - which includes you and me (as taxpayers as well as MX mortgage holders).

When there is so much support and education out there - like Property 118 and Property Tribes - landlords have no excuse not to get educated and understand the rights you talk about.

The low hanging fruit will always be the least path of resistance, so they will tackle such landlords first and the landlords concerned will no doubt start looking for discussions like this, and advice and support. But none of us are immune imho.

I commend you for standing up to them. You will inspire others to do the same.

For now, I just want answers to the questions I have sent them. I believe that will make things a lot clearer. Depending on those answers, I may well start ranting as well ... but I need clarity that only MX can supply!

PT and P118 will certainly be a voice and lobby for landlords on this issue. Like I said on PT, we must all support one another and evoke "people power"!!

by Mark Alexander

16:55 PM, 5th September 2013, About 8 years ago

I will be gobsmacked if MX reveal their hand online and engage with landlords but I hope they do. The landlords agenda is very clear, we all see MX as the enemy for all the reasons stated by Vanessa. They know that whatever they say will not be trusted so they are highly unlikely to bother. At best I reckon they will send a well constructed response for you to publish and refuse to engage further. Sorry but I'm just being a realist.

by Ian Narbeth

12:39 PM, 9th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "05/09/2013 - 16:55":

I have no brief for MX and they are now being very hard-nosed but the OP acknowledged that he did not take out a BTL mortgage. It is fairly common knowledge that some landlords take out residential mortgages because the interest rates/fees are lower than for BTL products. The borrower no doubt justifies this in that they are paying the loan off and in their view the lender suffers no loss. Sadly for the borrower, when the lender finds out the truth they are entitled to take action for misrepresentation and/or breach of contract, to declare a default and demand repayment in full.

(Just imagine for a moment if lenders routinely did not take action when they discovered landlords behaving this way: many more landlords would try it on as there would be no adverse conequence for them.) If at that stage the landlord cannot repay he is in trouble and the lender may enforce his security. I cannot see the courts having much sympathy for a borrower who has either lied to the lender about the use of the property or flagrantly breached the terms of the loan agreement by not telling the lender that the property is now rented out.

Two other points to consider. First sections 2 and 3 of the Fraud Act 2006 may apply in certain cases:
These make it a CRIMINAL offence to make false representations (e.g. "I am going to live in the house myself") or to fail to disclose information the borrower is under a legal duty to disclose, (e.g. a clause that requires the borrower to notify the lender if he ceases to live there) where the intention is to make a gain (e.g. to get a lower interest rate). Mark, you are right to advise people to be open with the lenders. Some of the comments on the board are from people who seem to think lenders are fair game. They can hardly complain if the courts enforce the lenders' rights. Lenders are not, so far as I am aware using the Fraud Act but it is there and is a very big stick indeed. Crudely put, the Fraud Act catches virtually any dishonesty where someone tries to make a gain or avoid a loss.

Secondly, landlords need to be aware that on a sale of one of a portfolio of properties charged to the same lender, where each property is security for all the loans, the lender does not have to release the charge over the sold property unless the entire loan is redeemed. Whilst the banking relationship is continuing, lenders will almost invariably release on a sale at open market value if they receive the net proceeds of sale after paying reasonable legal and agents' fees. However, they are not obliged to and so the lenders can make it very difficult for borrowers to sell.

So before people get on a high horse about banks being tough they should ask if they have in fact kept to their side of the bargain and been honest with the lender.

by Mark Alexander

13:47 PM, 9th September 2013, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Narbeth" at "09/09/2013 - 12:39":

I agree with what you are saying Ian but sometimes life circumstances dictate actions, as they did for the original poster.

It is also very sad that MX came to grief as a result of their irresponsible lending but is it right what they are now doing? Please see this associated thread >>>

by Gary Byrne

16:39 PM, 9th September 2013, About 8 years ago

@ Ian. Not everything is so black and white. When we moved out here it was to earn money to honor and pay our debts back in the UK. We had lived in the property for 5 years and everything was good. We moved out here on Sept 1st, the same day MX became nationalized. Everything that was on the table before was now gone, no BTL nothing. We could not afford to remortgage and to sell would have left us with a debt to pay. I and people like me did not cause this problem, the bankers did. If what I have done is such a fraudulent crime then why are they not taking me to court? It is easy to quote fraudulent acts but that is all they are, acts. Acts and statutes are not law they are rules of society only given the force of law by the consent of the governed and I did not consent to any of this .I think what I have done is honorable. I could have just walked away, I still can. I am not a criminal, I am just trying to survive. Know your rights people 😉

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