Established in 1992
Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claims|Disputes
IBAS Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claims Unit was founded in 1992 and has many years experience investigating and resolving mortgage shortfall debt liability claim cases after home repossession/s.
IBAS is completely independent.
IBAS is not funded in any way by Banks or Lenders. We have never sought to build an 'organization' which is funded by the same companies who are seeking debt repayment - as most of the 'free' advice 'agencies' do.
IBAS is not compromised in any way by Banks or other lenders.
IBAS provides our members with the most efficient and professional opportunity for their success on Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claims.
Proposed approach to repossessions from 31 January 2021 by FCA on 13.01.21
The FCA propose extending the current guidance so firms cannot enforce repossession until 1 April 2021.
Government proposals to help more people in problem debt - 12 January 2021
Consultation launched aimed at extending debt solutions and helping vulnerable people in financial distress get a fresh start.
The government is publicly consulting on changing the eligibility criteria to enter a DRO to:
increase the total amount of debt allowable to £30,000 (from £20,000)
increase the value of assets owned by the individual to £2,000 (from £1,000)
increase the level of surplus income to £100 (from £50) per month
Following a repossession the sale of the mortgaged property can then mean a mortgage shortfall liability is immediately created. It is then that the lender will issue a claim for the mortgage debt after repossession which is the 'shortfall debt' and on which lenders will request payment - sometimes many years later.
Internet information on Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claims and Disputes after a repossession is huge and very confusing. One search will often lead to many more pages and many of those pages and sites will be completely out of date and therefore cannot be relied upon.
Reading most of the up to date information will confirm that every case has very individual case facts on which specific advice will be necessary. Fact Sheets become even more confusing - as those Fact Sheets are not actually addressing the individual 'case' facts or the customer's individual mortgage shortfall debt claim.
Since 1992 IBAS has investigated and analyzed individual banking cases and disputes including litigation, involving many different top 10 solicitor practices normally instructed by lenders and banks. Most solicitor are rarely involved in litigation as a normality and often unaware of the bullying from the top solicitors employed by banks and major lenders. They may also be unaware that the top 10 solicitors employed to do the banks ʻdirty workʼ may also employ questionable tactics.
IBAS has unique specialist ability and our analysts log patterns and strategies which others do not, or cannot - thatʼs because IBAS has seen those same patterns and strategies used many many times over and we have gathered that information over a long period for our ongoing use to assist those who we advise.
Once a bank or major lender moves towards their ʻexit strategyʼ the customer must immediately plan to protect themselves (particularly those needing to act as LIPʼs) against bank litigation and their legalized bullying. At the early stage where the bank is pressuring you IBAS can help by not only advising you on how they will act and what they will target later but also by ʻgetting betweenʼ you and the lender or their solicitors.
Immediately banks and lenders enter into their ʻrecovery phaseʼ litigation and litigation planning is forefront in their mind (not conciliation, negotiation or mediation). The personnel in recovery units are interested in protecting their business and their bonuses not the customerʼs.
When Bank Debt Recovery Units take control they will then push hard for early proposals regardless of your complaints and that can pressure you as an individual into making proposals to pay - although you may have valid defences to the bankʼs claim/s.
Prior to ʻconsideringʼ mediation, conciliation or negotiation, banking ʻcase filesʼ require specialist investigation of the facts - so that the bank is not easily able to conceal the facts they do not wish to disclose.
Where Banks are concerned, disclosure prior to litigation and indeed after litigation has commenced is not a ʻlevel playing fieldʼ. Denying important facts to the customer at demand and even after Litigation has been initiated by the bank - is also Bank strategy.
Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claim Litigation and Debt collection is a profitable business for all those involved including Insolvency Practitioners (IPʼs). Many IPʼs have very close connection/s to the banks and lenders who will provide IPʼs with work.
IBAS case work is managed using case based reasoning which has been enabled by our gathering case information since 1992 - this allows IBAS to effectively profile your case and also ʻfactor inʼ our knowledge of your lenderʼs banking strategy and their previous behaviour using IBAS historical data archive to assist you and your case.
IBAS will investigate UK Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claim ʻcasesʼ and connected bank accounts ʻin houseʼ (unlike the FOS) and IBAS will investigate any Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claim complaint which we feel has merit after our initial assessment of the complaint/s.
Itʼs extremely unusual for IBAS not to find something with which allow for negotiations, gain extra time, drive the debt down or eliminate it.
Neither, is it unusual for IBAS to find mortgage errors, mistakes or irregularities which then allow us to provide successful defences to Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claims whilst protecting our members from being bullied by the bank.
Banks know that IBAS will scrutinize all the details of their Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claim and that our analysts will analyze their claim - but first we will fully assess and investigate any ʻissuesʼ which may affect their debt claim for the customerʼs benefit.
Thatʼs why IBAS should be your first contact.
We are the only completely independent banking specialist acting for it's members.
How can we help you? - email your 'situation' to IBAS
BBC Testimonial for IBAS - Your Money Not a moving account
What will the Independent Banking Advisory Service (IBAS) provide you for your Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claim Dispute which the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) will not?
IBAS will carry out fully independent investigations based on the customers complaint.
IBAS investigations enhance the customer's complaint and provides evidence to the customers advantage.
IBAS investigate to establish the facts and historical positions and provide individual and specific advice on the dispute - more important is that IBAS provides Guidance on possible further actions required.
Information from those we have assisted since 1992 show that other ‘advisors’, solicitors & also the FOS carried out very limited or basic ‘checks’ on complaints.
Basic ‘checks’ cannot identify customer defences, allow debt reduction or eliminate a debt being claimed.
It’s clear that ‘other advisors’ provide advice and ‘outcomes’ without necessary facts. That disadvantages or destroys the customer’s ‘case’.
IBAS has a long established standard practice for investigating disputes in depth – other ‘advisors’ do not do so.
IBAS normally investigate matters in the 'window' between the bank's final letter and the date for the FOS complaint to be made i.e. before the FOS is involved.
That 6 month period allows IBAS to fully investigate the dispute and also obtain the necessary documents to enable us to be certain of the details which the bank will use in chasing the customer for payment on a Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claim dispute.
If IBAS has not been involved prior to the FOS submission we cannot change the FOS 'decision' when it is made.
IBAS experience is that FOS complaints need to be properly 'constructed' and they require careful research covering the whole period of the complaint, including the initial complaint to the bank/lender (which is often verbally made - but will be noted by the bank/lender and produced later) onwards - plus a very good knowledge of how the FOS actually works.
Thatʼs because your bank/lender knows precisely how the FOS works and they will use the material they have in their files (which will include telephone conversations with you) to construct the lender's Final Responseʼ letter to enable them to dilute, refute or deny dispute claims and complaints.
Lenders and Banks also know how the FOS can be persuaded to their view.
IBAS knowledge and experience of the Financial Ombudsman Service complaints handling and of the bank or Lender's strategy for producing their Final Lettersʼ in answer to complaints allows IBAS to focus on the correct focus for that complaint and IBAS draft banking complaints for our members with much more precision, whilst also preparing a better ʻdefenceʼ for their dispute to the debt claim should it be required.
IBAS aim is always to resolve a Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claims without litigation.
In most cases that is possible as IBAS investigations usually produce worthwhile negotiating information.
Our experience is that litigation is the last course of action for any Dispute because it is extremely expensive, time consuming and because most litigation cases end with only Banks, Lenders and lawyers being the winners.
However, IBAS cannot overturn an FOS 'decision' if the customer has gone to the FOS first and found the FOS decision is then unpalatable to them.
That means IBAS needs to be involved first - so that we can properly investigate your mortgage shortfall debt claim dispute. IBAS will not 'pick up' your complaint after the FOS 'decides' against you.
IBAS knowledge has been collated from thousands of IBAS banking cases over many years which provides unique ʻback-upʼ information only available to IBAS - which we use to assess where to investigate and what will produce the best results.
IBAS has a very experienced team providing a unique, totally independent, low priced professional, experienced and confidential service.
UKAR Update January 2020
Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock Interest Only BTL Mortgage holders are now being pursued by solicitors acting for UKAR (Drydens, DWF and others) and the tactics used remind us of our research for the Mortgage Shortfall Debt Claim Survey carried out many years ago.
It appears that legalized bullying has again reappeared where the UKAR agents are attempting to collect on shortfall debt claims.
Borrowers may be steamrollered by 'heavy' legal argument which are intended to produce completed income & expenditures with proposals to pay.
Providing a completed income & expenditures with proposals to pay may be the beginning of the end for many, as their proposals (no matter how small) may well then be used by the lender to issue a legal claim and immediately after judgment has been obtained at court then obtain charging orders and orders for sale.
As with all such cases the facts and specialist advice are crucial for a good result to be obtained for the borrower - DIY defences or forum 'defences' are usually inadequate and may be financially dangerous as real defences which did exist may be compromised.
IBAS has a very experienced team providing a unique, totally independent, low priced professional, experienced and confidential service - email IBAS with your case information.
We know that a number of Mortgage Express 'shortfalls' are being chased for payment now.
Anyone receiving a mortgage shortfall debt claim from their bank or lender due to a past home repossession should read the Daily Telegraph article to which IBAS contributed - 'Why none of us is safe' on 3rd May 2008 very carefully:
Daily Telegraph Article 03.05.08 - You can't make your mortgage payments, so the bank takes your home. William Little talks to those who've suffered the trauma.
Sara Cummins, head of the Mortgage Shortfall Unit at the Independent Banking Advisory Service (IBAS), says she has been advising an increasing number of well-heeled clients facing the loss of their homes: "They are often embarrassed about the situation they find themselves in because of how much they earn. But I've had to help barristers, solicitors and hospital consultants in the last year," she says.
Yet, even when property owners know the law, the banks can still force through a repossession.
Simon Cox, a 30-year-old solicitor, bought out a jointly owned property from his brother three years ago. He admits now that he took on too much and buried his head in the sand when things became too much. It was a three-bedroom property worth more than £400,000 in south-west London. "I took on the mortgage because I was a professional and I could afford it, and I felt obliged because it was my brother. But two years on from buying out the property, I started experiencing real financial problems. Arrears mounted and the bank repossessed the property," he says.
Yet this was not the end of the story. The following year, the bank started to pursue Mr Cox for a mortgage shortfall of £145,290 - the difference between how much they got for the property and how much was left on the mortgage.
"When the bank chased me for the shortfall, I was in sheer panic. I thought the repossession was the end of the story. I didn't know what to do. Being a solicitor, I tried to negotiate with them myself, but in retrospect this was not a good idea," he says.
"The bank saw this as a weakness and used the information that he was a solicitor to threaten bankruptcy as this would mean Simon's solicitor's licence would be suspended," says Sara Cummins of IBAS, to whom Simon eventually turned for help.
"I was forced to advise my senior partner of the pending bankruptcy and I was immediately suspended, making the situation even worse. I then had no income at all," says Mr Cox. The bank then turned the screws tighter still. Under pressure, Mr Cox gave away vital information.
"Cox had fallen into the trap of telling the bank's solicitors that his parents were willing to make a 'reasonable' settlement on his behalf for £20,000 and even provided a letter from them to this effect," says Ms Cummins. "This was his greatest mistake as it provided the bank with sufficient information to search his parents' asset position. It was then reluctant to negotiate a settlement as they found out that Simon's family were wealthy and should settle his debt in full."
IBAS then stepped in and negotiated a full and final settlement of the debt of £50,000, which his parents paid. Luckily, Mr Cox has since had his licence restored and returned to work in the City.
Yet his experience demonstrates how far banks will go to get their money back. Ms Cummins says that banks will keep a check for many years on whether a person with a repossessed property buys another in the future. They will then try to claw back any shortfall. This happened to 54-year-old chartered surveyor Mr P last year, after a repossession in the early 1990s.
"The bank in question is now threatening legal proceedings with a view to gaining a charge over the family home, which has been owned by Mrs P for 20 years whereas Mr P, her new husband, only recently went on to the deeds," says Ms Cummins. Now his wife's house is in danger of being repossessed as well.
"It was when my name went on the deeds that they discovered that I had another asset they could get their hands on, and they came calling," says Mr P. "It has been more than 12 years now since my house was repossessed, and surely they can't chase after that. But they're extremely intimidating, threatening that unless we pay £50,000 they will repossess the house. It is very stressful. My wife is on the edge and is very unwell because of it."
Ms Cummins is clear about banks' tactics. "Sometimes they will sit on the information for a few years, waiting for the property to gain value. They are very calculating and ruthless and push until they get what they want by whatever means possible."
Please Note: Names/content details have been edited to protect those involved in the IBAS input to the article published in The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph article demonstrates the lengths lenders will go to to obtain payment and illustrates what you should not do after receiving mortgage shortfall debt claims.
See also the Telegraph article by Jenny Knight which is still relevent today (link below):
The hidden danger of joint mortgages
“When there were many creditors still chasing me for debts after my home had been repossessed 5 years ago the last thing you want was another 50k mortgage short fall. When all options had ran out there was only one thing left to do which was to declare bankrupt .however, just before I commit myself I embarked upon IBAS website in my search engine. After reading some testimonies I was a bit sceptic at the beginning because I had tried Financial Ombudsman and got nowhere.
But it was my last straw so I thought I’ll give it a go. As soon as I became a member things got on pretty quickly. They gave me all the questions and I reply with all the answers. My situation was that it’s highly unlikely I can repay this kind of debt in my life time. IBAS accessed my situation and told me what would be the likely outcome of my case. IBAS had negotiated a full and final settlement offer to the lender on my behalf successfully. It was the biggest relief I had since I got buried in this financial turmoil. I can’t thank Sara Cummings and her team in IBAS enough. Thanks guys and deeply appreciated all your helps. Mortgage Shortfall people out there please go to IBAS and find out more.” - Mr C - November 2016
The side bar pages show how others in fear from a mortgage shortfall debt have obtained resolution & the information in those pages show why customer's telephone calls to lenders are always dangerous.
They also evidence how and why lenders pursue mortgage shortfall debts (once repossession and sale of the property has taken place) and why 12 year old mortgage debts or much older debts are 'chased' by lenders - First to gain an admission of the debt and then to obtain payment from your assets, which may include your new home.
Lenders pursuit of payment or gaining an early 'admission of the debt' can be extremely 'vigorous' and may well be intimidating as lenders seek payment from mortgage shortfall debt claims or shortfall demands for payment of a claimed or alleged mortgage shortfall debt.
Much of the bank's 'recovery' knowledge is gained from the Bank's Internal Notes.
The Bank's ‘internal notes’ record the bank employee's personal observations and details of the customer, their family and relatives, including assets and property and possible inheritance claims. Sometimes also very personal and specific details. All are of value to the bank in seeking payment for a debt claim.
Of course, once the bank’s demand is issued the bank will be actively ‘searching’ all their sources of information (including their internal bank notes) for how best to obtain payment from the ex customer.
Initial information will be obtained on the customer's existing mortgage, charges, how much is outstanding, what the property is worth and all that before the ex customer completes the Bank's personal financial statement.
The ex customer's signed and completed financial statement allows the bank to double check their full financial position. They will assess it all - to see if anything else they have provided ‘leads’ the bank to further property/assets of which they were not previously aware.
Therefore the bank will be aware very quickly whether the ex customer has resources to pay.
The bank’s knowledge of the customer will already be very good and the ex customer's completed personal financial statement will provide the bank with an exceptional opportunity to pinpoint exactly where to concentrate to take assets (or charge against them) later to obtain full payment.
For Example: if the ex customer has offered £10 a month (or nothing) but then the bank knows they have assets and also equity available with which the bank could be paid much more quickly.
IBAS experiences of case work over many years evidence that bank customers remaining together intact as a family and their survival from any banking debt ‘claim’, depends largely on whether they can channel the immediate anxiety from the bank’s demand letter into a much more positive thought process.
It is a mistake for ex customers to believe a bank will treat them fairly once they have issued a demand for payment.
Of course, the ex customer can struggle along uncertain of what they can do and without any real plan or knowledge of the 'recovery system' - inevitably the bank will then ‘take control’.
Or, the ex customer can allow IBAS to look at their position and then guide them. - 'Their case' can be properly assessed and IBAS can provide an action plan based on all the facts. That is the real value of IBAS.
Email IBAS now to find out if we can help you.
IBAS has featured on BBC TV, BBC TV News, ITV News, Meridian TV and Sky TV News since 1992 and also contributed banking editorials and business banking articles for the Sunday Times, Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Telegraph (as in cases above) and Daily Mirror.
IBAS web site was launched in 1998 to help bank customers with banking disputes.
BBC Testimonial for IBAS - Your Money Not a moving account
Last modified: 10th February 2021