Unfortunately it is a sign of the times that many sellers currently using Fridays’ conveyancing services to sell their property are currently in the process of being repossessed. One such client - who we shall describe for confidentiality reasons as Mrs X - was under extreme pressure. Nearing the point of exchange of contracts, Laura of our conveyancing London team and Mrs X were both advised by the bank that the following day Mrs X would be evicted and possession of the property would be taken over by the bank. Mrs X, battle scared and tired from trying to stave off being repossessed, resigned herself to the fact that she would no longer be living at the property. Mrs X knew that there was no equity left in the property. In fact there was a problem in that she was suffering from negative equity. Mrs X, quite rightly, was nevertheless concerned about how she would pay off the remaining debt to the bank ( a debt that would increase if the bank sold for less than what she was selling for ) as she faced the prospect being sued by the bank within six years for any balance due to the bank. Mrs X was also concerned that her credit rating would be effected if she was repossessed.
Laura immediately phoned the conveyancing lawyers for the purchasers and applied as much pressure upon them as possible to exchange within the next few hours which they said they could do. Laura then spent the next couple of hours on the phone to the bank to try and negotiate a six hour grace period by which point, if she had exchanged contracts, they would agree not to repossess the property. A problem further arose seconds before exchange in that the bank suddenly said that there was £18, 000 worth of negative equity.
Whilst most conveyancing firms would have given up at this point, Laura cared passionately to try and achieve the client’s goal of walking away from the property without any further debt or even poorer credit rating. She phoned up the purchaser’s conveyancers, bypassing the agents ( as time was of the essence ) and personally negotiated an increase in the purchase price by £10, 000. She then negotiated with the agents for a reduction in their fee and then, even more impressively, managed to negotiate a further several thousand pounds off the lender's redemption statement. Having obtained all this in writing contracts were exchanged with Mrs X able to walk away from the property debt free.
Whilst it is true to say that Mrs X encountered the unenviable experience of staring repossession in the face, the Fridays’ conveyancing team had achieved the best possible outcome in the circumstances. Mrs X was delighted with the service.