LTSB/Halifax - forged documents - beware

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01 Mar 2011 00:00 by AngieKSA Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

Hi,  Just thought I would share our nightmare with you.  We took out a captial repayment mortgage in 2003 for a property in Spain.  Due to the property market collapse, we decided in late 2009 to ask the bank (Halifax Espana) if we could switch to interest only - no point sinking more capital into a falling market.

This was agreed and we waited for the documentation to come through from Malaga branch for us to sign and return changing the conditions of our mortgage.  We waited and waited, chased and chased but nothing came.  However, our mortgage did change and we started paying interest only.  After 3 months, we gave up asking for the document.

In Dec 2010 we received a phone call from LTSB Collections in the UK saying that we were in arrears!  It turns out that the document we never saw or signed a year previously was only valid for 1 year and the mortgage had reverted to capital repayment.  We had not received any indication of this from the bank - no letter a month prior advising us of new payment - nothing.

We immediately started trying to contact LTSB in Spain - the nightmare had started!  We finally got the email address for the customer services at LTSB in Madrid.  One of the emails we received back from them stated "in the document you signed, it clearly states that the amendment was for a period of 12 months".  We did not sign anything - we didn't even see it.  We finally got them to email over a copy of this so-called signed document and there it was - our signatures forged!!

We are now fighting our case that we should not be in arrears because we were not properly informed of the terms of the amendment, we were not notified of any further changes and to this day (March 2011) we have not received anything in writing saying what the new monthly payments are.

We have instructed Spanish lawyers to deal with this as the stress is making us quite unwell.  We CAN afford to pay the arrears since December - we CAN afford to repay the whole mortgage off but why should we?  They will not even apologise to us for forging our signatures  We have said we will pay the back payments of the mortgage but would like the arrears fees credited back, as it was not our fault.  No - can't do that in Spain aparently.

We now have a new 12 month contract for interest only - which we have seen and signed but this cannot be put into place until all arrears are cleared immediately - or they have threatened repossession!  Nice people!!!!

Has anyone else had a similar problem with Spanish banks?  Obviously, we have contact LTSB in the UK - our Premier Customers Advisor and the CEO but needless to say they have done nothing to assist us.

We are now looking to move away from LTSB for good - in Spain, in UK and Offshore - stay well clear of them at all cost.

 

 





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09 Mar 2011 15:09 by patrickeasymortgagesspain Star rating in Costa del Sol. 1 posts Send private message

Hi AngieKSA

Sorry to hear about your bad experience from Lloyds, they can be a real headache to deal with.  They have carried out a "payment review" which allows them to extend your interest only period by 1yr without any costs (we have helped lots of clients with these forms).  You have managed to extend this for 2yrs which is good news.  Are you able to tell me which branch this happened at please so we can stay well away from them?

The biggest problem at the moment is that there are no other providers in Spain offering interest only re-mortgages except Lloyds TSB.  I am pretty sure the Bank are aware of this and as such, do not seem too interested in offering a good service to compete for the business.  It is an unfortunate truth that we are working against every day.

You could try complaining to the Bank of Spain if you feel you are getting nowhere via the UK route but at the very least, you should lodge a formal complaint at the branch in the complaints book (assuming you haven't already that is!).

Try to diarise the date for this, giving at least 6 - 8 weeks before (just in case), so you can see if you are able to apply for an additional interest only period or give you enough time to search for a suitable replacement mortgage if required.

I hope this helps

 

Kind Regards


Patrick





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