Endowment Policy Nightmare

Do you have an endowment-linked mortgage?

I would like to tell you of my experience with one of those policies and ask for help.

This is a very topical subject at the moment and there are companies offering to help borrowers seek compensation. My experience of that is not good. I signed up with one of those companies some years ago. The company got me an offer from the endowment policy holder, which was less than I had actually paid in over the years and since the negotiating company had got an offer, poor as it was, I owed them their £900 fee: the offer wasn’t worth accepting.

The problem I have now is that a few years into the endowment plan, the contract was renegotiated and it ended up not being in line with the mortgage: four years out.

My endowment policy is due to mature in November this year and the bank, having allowed the mortgage to carry on for three years, is now threatening to repossess my home, rather than wait a few more months. At least I think that’s what their solicitor is saying. Please read on.

I have an email this week in which there are apparent contradictions. On one line, I am being asked to provide evidence that the shortfall on my endowment policy will be covered in November and in the next line I am told that unless I present a plan for full repayment of the mortgage immediately, repossession proceedings will be started.

The bank started with requesting information on my endowment policy, which I posted and re-posted a few times as they kept sending repeated requests for that information. I posted the information twice and faxed it once. I then received the letter from the bank’s solicitor stating that if I did not contact the bank by January 17th, they would start repossession proceedings. Within the time period given, I phoned the lender several times, but I received a letter from the solicitor stating that as I had not contacted the lender, repossession proceedings were about to begin. Now, in my limited knowledge of these legal matters, I had assumed that as the solicitor worked on the instructions of the client, the client would communicate with said solicitors that I had contacted them.

I find myself alternately wondering if I am dealing with the organ grinder or the monkey and then imagining that I am dealing with two entities who both believe they are the organ grinder, banging away on the same organ, oblivious to the other’s hands and producing a discordant cacophony.

I have had so many demands for a statement about how I am going to pay the shortfall on the endowment policy and tried all sorts of ways, tried very hard, to find solutions. I decided at one point that I would change tack and go for equity release. I contacted a company, which was willing to give more than I needed.

And here is another complication. The mortgage was originally taken out by me and a friend, who left the property just 4 months into the mortgage term. She completed the form given to her by the lender, stating that she had no further interest in the property. Over the years, I have tried three times to have my friend’s name taken off, as she requested. Here is what happened. 1) You are not earning enough, so we wouldn’t give you the mortgage. 2) You are self-employed without audited accounts so…3) As a supply teacher, you are not in permanent employment.

When I decided to opt for equity release, the mortgage lender told me that all that was needed was for my friend’s name to be taken off the title deeds and not the mortgage, but that is not the case. The lender needs to take my friend’s name off the mortgage for me to get equity release, which would be a very fast process once the name is off. The lender is not willing to take the name off to help me get equity release. More threats of repossession. I offer a solution, which would lead to completing the process quickly, but the mortgage lender is immoveable.

Wait a few months? Now that would involve a level of compassion for me as a woman in my late sixties with a chronic health problem which has been seriously aggravated by the stress of this, but I guess compassion is not in their vocabulary. Repossession if you do not contact our client within…repossession if you do not..it seems like the solicitor is veering between threats to repossess now if full repayment is not immediate and asking for an assurance that the money will be available in November.

What I have now, is two family members stating that they will cover the shortfall on my endowment policy and the lender, rather than wait those few months is demanding the money from my relatives now. At least I think that’s what the emails from the bank’s solicitor is saying, but their communications are full of contradictions and when I ask for clarification, they simply repeat the contradictions and threaten repossession. I don’t even know who the author of the emails is because there is never a named person as a signatory.

Update to the above: I have had further email communication this week. One email asks me to provide evidence that my mortgage will be fully paid off in November, which I have assured them it will be, but in the email I have received today the sender has just noticed, he or she says, that the date for release of the endowment is November (I sent the statement to them in January and had to resend it yesterday) and they want a plan for how the full amount of the mortgage will be paid. I sent that to them yesterday. Do qualified solicitors often communicate like this? They asked me in an email yesterday if the mortgage would be paid off in full in November and today they ask me for a plan for how the mortgage will be paid off. My head is spinning!

Latest update: 21/02/17 – the bank’s solicitors are now demanding immediate payment in full of the balance on the mortgage – or repossession proceedings begin.

What I’d like to find out is whether there are others who are having problems with endowment shortfall and if others have had threats of repossession.

 

Any advice gratefully received. Thank you.

 

 

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