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Bank pursuing loan of deceased...

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by PJTX100, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    I would be grateful for some advice.

    My mother-in-law died a few months back. She was over 75, physically disabled but of sound mind. She died without a will. Limited death insurance, only just enough to cover burial costs. Unbeknowns to anyone she took out a loan of over £5000, payable over 10 or 15 years I think, with a well known bank around a year ago. Being disabled she must have done all this by phone / post.

    The bank is now pursuing my father-in-law for the money. He had a heart bypass operation a few years ago hence is not in that good health, and clearly he is grieving the loss of his wife. The motability car has already been reclaimed (don't hang around do they!). The bank don't seem to be being very sympathetic to this situation.

    There is no evidence as to where the money has gone. Their house is a council house and is extremely frugally furnished, to be honest it's falling apart a bit. Electronic goods are simple / old to say the least. When I say they don't know where the money has gone, I mean it. No-one is trying to pull a fast one as far as I can see.

    Can someone advise of the legal position and how best to sort this out. If this situation continues it may well finish him off too.

    Thanks…PJ
     
  2. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Has anyone tried talking to the Bank. Your father in law may not be the right person to discuss this situation with the bank and it may be better if you or your wife were to speak to them.

    I can't understand why a bank would lend such a large sum to a 75 year old repayable over 10 or 15 years as statistically they must have realised that many people don't make it that far so an insight into their thinking could be useful for you.

    If the loan was made in your mother in law's sole name then your father in law isn't liable for repayment. Legally they have a claim on her estate but I can't see them bothering if it's not worth anything but someone will have to discuss this with them.
     
  3. Henry

    Henry
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    If your father-in-law has not signed anything guaranteeing this loan, I cannot see how they can pursue him. As Ian J correctly states, they have a claim on your mother-in-law's estate but that's it.

    Banks and other financial institutions can be somewhat aggressive in their tactics in pursuing debts. Whilst I wouldn't advise ignoring them, I'd write to them informing them of her death and telling them that they should communicate in writing with the executor.
     
  4. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I agree Ian the bank have been silly to say the least to offer such a term to such an old person. My brother-in-law has been in contact with the bank but this sort of thing is quite alien to him and my father-in-law and I'd imagine there isn't much push-back coming from them.
    I'll gather all the facts then have a chat with the bank, I'll keep it very polite as I'm more likely to make progress that way...PJ
     
  5. GrahamC

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    One point, a point that I'm far from sure on is if the loan is through a joint account as this may have some baring.
     
  6. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    As the others have said the bank have a right to claim against the estate of your mother-in-law but her estate does include anything which she jointly owned with her husband (who will effectively automatically inherit them due to a lack of a will).

    Unfortuantly banks do 'miss-sell' products at times - a natural problem of being a sales target driven industry. One possible thing to look into is if your mother-in-law had payment protection insurance on the loan as this may cover the outstanding amount - some of these policies have a max age limit on them but depending on who the bank and insurer is they may pay anyway if the policy was sold by the bank when your mother-in-law was so close/already passed the age restriction.

    She who must be obeyed used to work in dealing with payment protection insurance on loans/ credit cards etc - had one case where they had lent a 72 year old, homeless man £22,000 on a 3 year term and sold him the PPI which only covered you until the age of 60
     
  7. PaulaB

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    If the loan was in her name they can go after her estate, but if there is no estate then there is nothing the bank can do about it your father in law isn't responsible. Having said that it will not stop the banks from trying to scare him into paying. Thats what the banks did to my mother and myself when my father died with over £130,000 worth of bank loans and credit cards.
     
  8. Ian J

    Ian J
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    With respect, there is a huge difference between £130,000 and £5,000. The former is the price of a decent house in many parts of this country.
     
  9. PaulaB

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    So what? I was the one left with dealing with the banks who where quite agressive. At one point one sent a letter to both my mother and my self claiming we where in default of an agreement to pay off a business loan, which we hadn't agreed to pay back. It doesn't matter how much money it is the stress is something that you don't need when dealing with the death of a family member.
     
  10. Dr Diversity

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    I would ask the bank for proof. At the very least they should have a phone recording of the deal and, hopefully, something in writing. It could be a case of identity theft; The lady had no need for the money and no trace of it found. Check what account the money was paid into or where the check was posted to - what account was the cheque cashed too?
     
  11. mrmcdean

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    I'd certainly look into the possibility that the loan was "mis sold" in the first place. There have been a number of cases recently where people who have no obvious way of paying back loans due to age, disability etc. have been supplied with loans that should never have been granted.

    A quick chat with the citizens advice should put you on the right track if you have'nt already spoken to them.
     
  12. stealther

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    Dr D I think that there is a good chance that you are right here.

    In terms of what the bank is saying to you, dont believe them dont trust them.

    The people who are recovering the money will say anything to get money out of you. Dont forget they have targets to reach as well. They like to send letters intimidating you and implying for example that they will send balifs round.

    Now I know banks are a law onto themselves but I havent heard of any yet that have been granted Judical powers!

    This is by no means a personal attack on anyone working for Bank. Not even Branch or regional Managers. But the real controllers the policy setters are some of the lowest forms off life there is. Intrest rates are a joke Overdraft fees are so excessive its not even funny.
     
  13. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I am no great lover of high street banks but I think that your post is rather excessive. I very much doubt that any bank would imply that bailiffs would be used unless it was put into the correct context and that possibly they had good reason to write in that context in the first place.

    Interest rates may not be to your liking but there again overdrafts, loans and credit cards etc are all voluntary and all have the interest rates clearly stated. I assume by "overdraft fees" that you mean "Unauthorised overdraft fees" which are set at such a level as to discorage people from exceeding their overdrafts limits.
     
  14. stealther

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    I am sure I could dig out some examples for you If I tried.
    I had one bank tell me that my repayment proposal was to low. On informing them that we would have to go to court to get a ruling they claimed as they were an American bank they would not have to accept a uk court ruling that I was unable to pay anymore. So i was bullied into paying more money than I could afford and after seeking Legal advice was told that they had incorrectly informed me!

    Granted unauthorised borrowing should be discouraged. But when a third party accidently overcharges you and puts you a few pounds over your limit. A £30 fee is hardly reasonable. Just try contesting it you get a great deal of sympathy along the lines of We understand that its not your fault but its not ours either. (So shut up any pay up)

    Excesive is a great word to use when subscribing banks thats exactly what they are. :mad:
    One point I wont argue with is that Credit cards/overdrafts are optional and I didnt have to get into the mess I was in that was entirely my own fault. :suicide:
    I just was hoping for a bit more understanding than I received.
     
  15. mrmcdean

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    Although not from a bank I was threatened with the baliffs years ago for an outstanding debt of £8.00. I'd subscribed to a tropical fish magazine using switch and thought thats how they'd take payments from then on. First I knew about it was a nasty letter which was bang out of order, talk about heavy handed.

    Ask to see all relevant documents the bank has on file, explain why and go from there. Reports ive read on financial websites eg ( http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/credit...ticle.html?in_article_id=400365&in_page_id=62 ) indicate that during investigations into loan agreements a fair few are based on shakey and sometimes incomplete info.

    They usually want you to roll over and accept it, dont !!
     
  16. Crocodile

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    I think the first hurdle you'll encounter will be the old "we can't discuss that with you because of Data Protection". Draft a letter for your father-in law to sign appointing you as his representitive in this matter & granting the bank authority to disclose any information that you request to resolve the issue.

    Then draw up a letter to the branch manager outlining your concerns & requesting copies of the loan agreement that your mother signed & evidence of how the money was transferred. It's a pain but I'd suggest delivering both letters to the branch in person, preferably during a quiet period.

    See if you can get a fax number or e-mail address to eliminate postal delays but ensure that you put EVERYTHING in writing & keep hard copies together with any replies from the bank. Always request an acknowledgement of the receipt of anything you send them.

    If the bank refuse to co-operate with you, ask them to put their "final position" in writing. You can then make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.
     
  17. Squiffy

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    It is worth pointing out that the Data Protection Act only applies to the living in any case...
     

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