Surely I am not the only landlord worried about new EPC requirements?9:44 AM, 17th February 2021
About A week ago 125
It has come to our attention that Mortgage Express (now UKAR – UK Asset Resolution) have recently been appointing LPA receivers with no apparent justification.
Previously we had heard of LPA receivers having been appointed where a borrower has died or where a landlord had fallen into arrears. In some cases the properties were sold for much less than the outstanding mortgages leaving the estates of the deceased or the affected borrowers facing bankruptcy. In some cases the arrears had been paid off but this had not proven to be an effective remedy. This is all very sad for those affected but in the cases we looked into it would appear that Mortgage Express were well within their legal rights to take such action, regardless of how distressing it was to those affected or how unreasonable their actions were when compared to the attitudes of other mortgage lenders.
HOWEVER, it now appears that matters are moving to another level entirely.
Just this week we have heard from landlords with very large portfolios, who have never been in breach of any of their mortgage conditions, but have now had their loans called in and subsequently been informed that Mortgage Express have appointed LPA receivers.
Our initial investigations reveal that these borrowers purchased properties for cash or with the benefit of bridging loans and very quickly re-mortgaged them to Mortgage Express, sometimes on the day of purchase. This business model was particularly common during the period of 2003 to when Mortgage Express eventually closed its doors just after the collapse of the Northern Rock. Both former lenders mortgage books are now managed by UKAR (UK Asset Resolution) who have made no secret of the their agenda to call in as many mortgages as possible.
On many occasions UKAR have been accused of acting immorally and there have been many stories of affected borrowers shared here at Property118.com
The process on instant remortgaging was at the forefront of the Mortgage Express business model for nearly five years. They promoted the concept to their own borrowers in their own magazine which explained how borrowers could buy for cash at auction and then refinance all or perhaps more their their initial investment back out of a deal very quickly. Mortgage Express even employed a large sales team to explain their business model to mortgage brokers and even placed their mortgage underwriters into the offices of larger mortgage broker firms to speed up the process.
Just recently though, Mortgage Express, or should I say UKAR, have been demanding repayment of loans and subsequently appointing LPA receivers without full justification and then inviting borrowers to prove they are not in breach of contract. When challenged UKAR have implied that full facts surrounding remortgages were never disclosed to them. The reality is that questions were never asked about original purchase price or date of first ownership until completion, and even then the responsibility to disclose this information fell upon the solicitors acting in the arrangement of the mortgage. There is plenty of concrete evidence of Mortgage Express proceeding to allow the completion of mortgages despite full disclosure from solicitors that the property had been purchased for a lower amount that it was being refinanced for within a short period of time. For Mortgage Express to persuade a judge to lift an injuction they would then need to prove that the solicitor acting for you was negligent. If Mortgage Express were able to achieve this you would be in a very strong position to obtain legal representation on a no-win-no-fee basis against your solicitor to recover damages.
Seemingly Mortgage Express are now calling in loans where a solicitor may have been negligent and/or even where Mortgage Express themselves had allowed the completion of mortgages in full knowledge of the details of the transaction – that is simply bang out of order!
The problem is that solicitors who completed the mortgages are also being targeted for negligence so they are conflicted and cant advise their former clients. This leads to a requirement to brief another set of lawyers, usually litigation experts, many of which know little if anything about how the transactions were structured. You can imagine what a meal the lawyers cam make out of that scenario and some affected borrowers just can’t afford to pay the fees which can very easily run into tens of thousands of pounds by the time a barristers opinion has been sought!
The best bet for these borrowers is to unite and to share the investigative costs. However, they don’t know each other!
And that’s where Property118.com comes in useful.
We have search engine optimised this article so that affected borrowers can easily find it.
Personally, I have significant experience of these transactions and may well be able to assist affected borrowers. I was previously a director a mortgage brokerage which of arranged thousands of loans with Mortgage Express. In 2011 I also acted as a professional witness at a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal where Mortgage Express was suing a solicitors practice on this very basis. My evidence related to Mortgage Express policy towards remortgaging properties which had been purchased for cash or with bridging finance and subsequently refinanced on a back to back basis. My evidence was crucial to the findings – full details HERE. I have subsequently provided evidence for other law firms on a similar basis but none of those cases have ever gone to trial.
I am NOT a solicitor, but I do act as a Consultant to both solicitors and Barristers-At-Law. My latest case has involved organising a representative action against the West Bromwich Mortgage Company to challenge their 1.9% per annum interest rate hike in the margins charged on their base rate tracker mortgages. In phase one of that project I raised over £100,000 against an initial target of £15,000 to seek professional advice. I am now well on the way to raising an additional £250,000 within 28 days to help a group of borrowers, of which I am one, to commence legal action via the courts to get this rate hike overturned. Further details HERE.
As soon as LPA Receivers are appointed your tenants will find out. The first reaction of tenants is often to panic, stop paying rent and/or to find somewhere else to live. Cashflow from your rental properties can deteriorate very quickly, thus causing your mortgage accounts to fall into arrears and your credit rating to be severely impaired, thus creating a knock on effect of preventing you from being accepted for finance elsewhere. Given that ALL rents are usually paid to the LPA Receivers your personal finances could suffer too. Recovery from such a predicament is unusual and often ends in personal bankruptcy when properties are sold in a distressed sale scenario, often at auction and often at a value which fails to repay the mortgage debt and the LPA receivers charged which are usually considerably higher than people can ever imagine.
If you are affected by this you may be able to issue an injunction to prevent Mortgage Express appointing LPA Receivers, or to get the LPA receivership appointment stopped or suspended. Mortgage Express would then have to prove to a judge they had grounds to appoint an LPA Receiver as opposed to you having to prove they have no grounds. Given the research work I have already done on other cases I can organise that action, via a Direct Access Barrister, for a flat fee of £2,500 plus VAT.
The first step though is an initial investigation into your circumstances. I will be pleased to review correspondence you have received from Mortgage Express for a fixed fee of £395 inclusive of VAT, and in complete confidence of course. To instruct me you will need to complete the short form at the foot of this article and make payment of my fee, either by credit/debit card or via PayPal. I will then send you an email which you can reply to with scanned images of the recent communications you have received from Mortgage Express. I will respond with a full and frank opinion within four working days of receipt of your papers and if I consider it to be appropriate I will refer you to a Barrister-At-Law to organise an injunction on the basis described above. My fee of £395 is inclusive of reading documents, replying to you in writing via email, up to 30 minutes of telephone conversations with you and or your existing professional advisers and referring my recommendations and your papers to Counsel for further consideration and action. A receipt will be provided on for payment and a VAT receipt will also be made available on request if you require one.
It is not recommended for any Mortgage Express borrower to agree to a meeting with UKAR without being represented by a qualified Solicitor or Barrister. If UKAR request a meeting you should ask them why they want a meeting and what the consequences of declining a meeting might be. Then ask them to confirm what they have said in writing. When you have that letter it is time to instruct me.
If you have already arranged a meeting with Mortgage Express please instruct me immediately so that I can advise you what to do next.
If you would like me to complete an initial review of your circumstances please complete the form below and make payment. I will then send you an email explaining what you need to do next.
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