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Ex asking for money on property abroad

(23 Posts)
Lurkerlongtime123 Fri 13-May-16 23:12:29

House abroad ought in both our names a few years ago - we are not married. Foreign mortgage. He always paid it. I paid all rent and all bills in the UK (this meant he could pay maintenance to his ex).

In 2014 he left me for another woman after 10 years, who he moved in with shortly after and has subsequently married (in under a year of leaving me).

He is still paying and we are putting it on the market but he wants me to contribute to the ongoing mortgage and some back pay since we split.

The amount of the total mortgage (not what's left) is around half of what I have paid on the rent and bills. So in theory he already owes me more than I could ever owe him.

My dad died in horrific circumstances and I inherited some money which meant I could put a deposit down on a flat. I also took a massive pay cut to take a permanent job so I could get a mortgage (I was a freelancer and it's hard to do). His current salary is over twice mine. I live alone so don;t share mortgage bills etc with anyone. He obviously does.

Morally I can't believe he's doing this (and in a very bullying and unpleasant way). But legally, where do I stand? I don't actually care if I get any money from the house. I just want him gone.

Does he have a legal leg to stand on? Can he take me to court? Does the fact this is abroad mean he can't do anything? All thoughts both from IANAL people and actual lawyers gratefully received.

CiaoVerona Fri 13-May-16 23:25:39

Legally as far as the banks are concerned you're both liable the fact its being paid by him and its another country I don't see how he can force you to pay or take any action to make you pay. What does he mean back pay? You mean payments toward the loan you've not made?
Id stand your ground and refuse to pay anything toward the property, is it being lived in? Can it be rented out while you sell it? Is there equity? Where is the house located, am not a lawyer I've bought property across Europe I've some basic insight into some markets by no means an expert.
Is this the only asset you need to dispose of.

Lurkerlongtime123 Sat 14-May-16 00:17:18

This is the only asset because we rented in the UK. Which I paid all rent, bills and council tax for. The direct debit for the mortgage has always come from him. He wants ongoing but also from when I bought the flat I live in now. Back in November.

CiaoVerona Sat 14-May-16 00:49:54

I take it your position is you paid for your home in the UK and it was his responsibility to pay the house abroad.

From what you say I don't think there is much he can do to make you pay. Worst case he could contact the bank and ask for interest only till it sells most banks won't enforce if its for sale, once sold its paid in full.Will the sale clear the debt.

goddessofsmallthings Sat 14-May-16 01:06:42

The amount of the total mortgage (not what's left) is around half of what I have paid on the rent and bills. So in theory he already owes me more than I could ever owe him.

Cheeky fucker! Is he a UK citizen or a foreign national and is he living in the UK, or in the house you jointly own abroad?

Will the proceeds of the sale be equally divided when the house is sold and the mortgage paid off? If so, have you appointed a lawyer/attorney to act for you if you're not planning to be present when the sale money hits the appointed bank account - which I sincerely hope is not joint.

Without knowing the country in question it's not possible to give a considered opinion, but if the sale was taking place in the UK I would suggest you refuse his request and wait for him to sue you for whatever monies he may claim you owe him after the proceeds have been divided, at which time you can file a counterclaim which will no doubt equal or exceed whatever sum he has stated. .

flowers I'm so very for your loss. Losing your df in an horrific way was undoubtedly a dreadful shock for you and I hope you won't let worry about this relatively trivial matter add to the burden of your grief.

Lurkerlongtime123 Sat 14-May-16 08:34:02

He lives with his new wife, unfortunately about 2 miles away, but we have only had one close call the other day when I walked past a local pub and they were outside (damn this nice weather). He moved in with her about 4 weeks after leaving me and had married her within a year. I suspect this was not a new relationship! I actually don't massively care about the house - it has lost equity (one of the problems) and to be honest I had written it off. He is being quite nasty but short of threatening in his contact with me (I blocked emails and phone etc but he sneaks round that). Mostly I just don't like being treated like shit by someone who supposedly cared for me. I don't want to go on the attack as suggested by some of my friends, but I do want to know to what extent I can dig my heels in.

If it had to go to mediation first, he is going to have that whole story told to a third party. Doesn't make him look good.

Imbroglio Sat 14-May-16 08:47:21

What do you want to do with the house? Do you want to sell is (presumably at a loss) or keep it until you can recoup the value?

Do either of you spend any time there or is it rent it out?

Ultimately I think you both need to take a step back and look at it from a purely financial point of view.

Lurkerlongtime123 Sat 14-May-16 08:50:26

Neither of us want to keep it. It's on the market. It won't recoup its worth where it is. We don't rent it or anything (we are talking about a relatively small amount of money for a house here - under 50k when we bought it, worth about 30 now).

I have to go to work now but all advice is very much appreciated!

TJEckleburg Sat 14-May-16 08:55:15

The important thing is whose name is on the mortgage? If that was taken out in joint names as well then you are both liable for that,regardless of who has been paying for it.

Lurkerlongtime123 Sat 14-May-16 11:35:19

Ok but what does liable mean in practicality? The bank has none of my bank details to take money from me. They just know they get whatever he sends them every month, not where that does or doesn't come from. If this were in the UK it would have to go to mediation and fail before deciding whether it should go to the courts (although that is for married couples). And the U.K courts don't deal with property abroad (which is why divorcing couples sometimes hide assets abroad).

What I am trying to get to is when the threatening solicitors letter comes, and it will, what is the reality about what I can do? I am perfectly happy to similarly send him a bill for our joint tenancy over the last 7 years. Which will be nearly twice as much.

CiaoVerona Sat 14-May-16 11:46:59

TJ she has stated they bought signed the loan her point is she's paid toward other bills therefore this debt is his to pay.
Is the loan with a UK bank or did you borrow from the country the property in? If its the latter they will have a hard time coming after you for the debt.
How do you expect to sell when the there will be debt left after its sold, the bank probably won't accept the sale. Does he expect you to pony up half that too.
You really need to think about contacting the bank with a view to a short sale.

CiaoVerona Sat 14-May-16 11:53:48

You can't mediate ,you're not married and the only issue being discussed it the
fact you have a joint property worth less then the debt in a different country.

Liable means you Both singed a contract stating you would jointly pay the debt if either of you defaulted the banks reserves the right to come after both of you the fact the loan is small and in another country the banks legal costs of enforcing outweigh them taking action.

He can try and sue you for non payment the cost would out weigh any benefits.

You both need to agree he takes the house debt you take accept you've paid the expenses you listed.

Lurkerlongtime123 Sat 14-May-16 12:01:47

We didn't sign anything like that as far as I am aware and the mortgage is Spanish. So if we did and I have, hen it has to go through the Spanish courts I presume. I will then slap a joint tenancy bill on him.

CiaoVerona Sat 14-May-16 12:04:07

If the mortgage is joint you're both liable I thought you said you both signed the loan?

If the loan is in his name solely you're fine if its in both names you are both legally liable.

Lurkerlongtime123 Sat 14-May-16 12:05:15

'You'll both have to agree' . Unfortunately he would see that as 'losing' and he doesn't lose. He's a nasty piece of work about stuff like this in the workplace. Hence why all his communication to me is full of vague not quite threats. So he can remind me how 'powerful' he is.

Lurkerlongtime123 Sat 14-May-16 12:06:28

The house is joint owned but he loan is in his name I think. Honestly can't remember and have no way of finding out. All the bank stuff goes to him only.

Fourormore Sat 14-May-16 12:11:06

You might be better off having this moved to Legal Matters.

CiaoVerona Sat 14-May-16 12:12:03

House abroad ought in both our names a few years ago - we are not married. Foreign mortgage.

As far as the bank is concerned you're both legally liable too repay the loan in practical terms for the kind a money you're talking about I don't see them coming taking any legal action in the UK.

Here's the problems you both face; You suggest the amount you'll receive from a sale is less then the loan, unless the bank agrees to a short sale( Writing off debt) you'll have to pay the residual debt to the bank as and when the sale completes.

Someone needs to try and speak to the bank and see what they are willing to do.

No sale can go through without both you signing the contracts.

So, you can do one of two things, forget about the whole thing and hope he works it out and pays the debt or agree something with him in writing by a lawyer absolving you of the house debt and you absolve him from the money you paid toward living in the UK.

CiaoVerona Sat 14-May-16 12:14:23

I read the house being in joint names meaning you both signed the mortgage if its the case you're on the deeds but not the loan then the debt is his and his only you have nothing to pay or worry about.

Id maybe try and engage a lawyer in Spain and dig up the contracts that way you can be assured who owes what.

zipzap Sat 14-May-16 18:05:58

Can you work out how much you have paid in rent etc over the years vs how much he has paid... Include the stuff that you've lost as a result of switching to a permanent job etc. Also work it out as a percentage of net earnings to show that you were the one that was most financially disadvantaged which ever way you cut it...

Then say that you are happy to set aside the original agreement, you are happy that he recognises that it was unfair and that you enclose the figures to ensure that the situation can be resolved fairly for both of you. Note that given there is a difference between the absolute amount you paid vs the relative proportion of income so in the interest of fairness you're suggesting the half way figure between the two different amounts. And that actually that means that he owes you £xxx. And that you're glad that he suggested looking at the figures to ensure that it was fair to both of you; until he did you hadn't realised how unfair the situation was beforehand and that he had been taking advantage of you financially previously, so you are glad that he has finally decided to do the honourable thing and set matters right.

Obviously he is not going to like it - your putting a different spin on his demands rather than agreeing without question but he also won't like the fact that getting your joint financial history on paper is creating a paper trail that he's not going to want to be brought up and examined too closely plus you're showing yourself to be eminently reasonable...

Plus by putting the relative amount as well as the actual amount if you do end up having to negotiate then you're giving yourself a higher amount to be negotiated down from.

Lurkerlongtime123 Sat 14-May-16 18:11:26

Thanks. That is indeed one of the routes I am considering. Hence why I already know how much more I have paid for our joint tenancies than he has on buying a bolt hole somewhere.

What I am waiting for is what that first solicitors letter will say. Just want to understand where I am going to have to work from. By accident one of my closest friends lives in Spain and would easily be able to find me a lawyer. I don't want to have to pay for one until I have to, but it is covered by someone I trust relatively easily.

sleeponeday Sat 14-May-16 22:02:28

Just to clarify:

* You were never married

* You jointly own the house

* The mortgage is in his sole name

* The bank and house are Spanish

* The house is in negative equity to the tune of £20,000

* When you were together he earned more, yet you paid more overall towards joint expenses

Is all of that correct? Because if so, it sounds as though he knows full well that he is solely liable for the loss, and isn't happy about it. So he's hoping bullying money out of you will work instead, given you meekly subsidised his living costs when together.

I would send one final message stating that you want nothing to do with him, that if he contacts you again you will be forced to report his harassment to the police. Because that's what he is doing, in circumventing email and phone blocks in the way you describe. If he does keep on at you, then do just that: report him. It's unlawful.

sleeponeday Sat 14-May-16 22:08:52

A solicitor's letter is meaningless, if the law isn't behind their client. It's a letter a solicitor has written; they aren't a judge, just someone with legal qualifications paid to represent his interests. Let them send what they like - if the debt is solely in his name, and the debt and house are overseas, and you weren't ever married, then there isn't anything he can do. You can ignore a solicitor's letter, and I would. They aren't a court. They're just a paid representative. Though as I have a mean streak, I'd write an incredibly LONG response, all bullet pointed, setting out every single thing I could think of and providing lots and lots of receipts going back as far as I could find any. Bonus points for any documentation in Spanish, which will be harder for them to translate and read. Because you won't have to pay anything towards the extremely high hourly rate they'll charge. That will be your ex's job.

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