My ex-partner took out £126k of fraudulent loans in my name and is now in jail: Why won’t NatWest write-off the £40k mortgage he acquired?
- Ex-partner took out £126k in fraudulent loans in our reader’s name
- Former partner now in jail and most of the loans have been written off
- One of the loans is a £40k NatWest mortgage which had grown to £51k
- NatWest finally wrote off the loan after This is Money stepped in
- Have you been wronged by a firm? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Four years ago I discovered my then partner had taken out more than £120,000 of fraudulent loans in my name without my permission.
He had gone to nearly every bank on the high street and been able to rack up a huge amount of debt without my knowledge.
This included a £40,000 mortgage with NatWest against the house I was gifted by my aunt.
Home worries: NatWest have threatened to repossess the property I live in with my 9-year old. (Stock image)
He has since been found guilty of fraud and is now in jail. Following his conviction all the debt taken out in my name has been written off by the banks, apart from the mortgage with NatWest.
The amount owed has now risen to £51,000 as the interest has accrued due to missed payments.
I have done as much as I can to try and resolve the situation with NatWest, including instructing a lawyer and sending them all of the crime information.
But I have heard nothing back and it is now threatening to repossess my house. I am a single mother with a 9 year-old.
My ex-partner lied about my salary on the application and I can’t afford to keep up with payments. I don’t know what else to do – please help. L.D via email
Fran Ivens, of This is Money, replies: I am incredibly sorry to hear about your situation.
It must have been a stressful time learning about the fraudulent loans taken out in your name and repairing the damage done by your ex-partner.
Financial abuse in relationships takes many forms and is often a difficult thing to escape from.
>> Are you or someone you know suffering financial abuse? How to spot the warning signs and where you can turn for help
The fact you have had to deal with the worry of a mortgage you didn’t take out hanging over you for so many years must have only added to your stress.
The thought of losing your home that you’re bringing a young child up in has no doubt caused many sleepless nights.
Out of all the lenders he defrauded, NatWest is the only one which hadn’t written off the debt.
The mortgage was taken out via a broker and initially, your ex-partner was making repayments on it.
Before contacting the banking giant on your behalf, I spoke to a lawyer who specialises in fraud cases.
With your former partner now convicted and in jail he was also surprised that NatWest were yet to clear what it said you owed.
He also clarified that the fact your former partner went through a broker to take out the mortgage does not affect the question of whether the bank was right to be charging you for repayment.
NatWest has said it will write off the entirety of the outstanding mortgage and pay back any fees incurred during the process
I should mention here that NatWest refutes the allegation it failed to engage with you and your lawyer.
It says that the case was on hold while it waited for the outcome of the police enquiry and the Financial Ombudsman complaint you raised.
It also made clear that taking time to gather information relevant to a case of fraud before taking a decision is standard practice.
When you attended a recent repossession hearing the judge granted a 56 day stay of proceedings to allow the bank to assess new information.
It is as a result of this new information, the bank says, that it has finally decided to write off the mortgage entirely.
And it is contacting your representative to arrange for you to be paid back for fees you incurred while dealing with the bank as well as compensation.
A NatWest spokesperson said: ‘Your reader has been the victim of a sophisticated fraud and we sympathise with their experience.
‘Following a review of more details which have been recently provided, we are pleased to confirm that we will be writing off the mortgage debt and associated interest.
‘We will also be offering compensation to your reader for their experience.’
‘In all instances of frauds and scams, we will seek information from the victim to understand what has happened and enable us to reach a fair outcome.
‘We are committed to supporting victims of fraud.’
Fran Ivens adds: While this is a great outcome, I am sorry for the years of anguish this process has caused.
I hope you can now take some time with your child and wider family without the stress of this fraudulently obtained mortgage – and repossession – hanging over you.
Financial abuse: How to get help
If you are in immediate danger, contact the police.
If you are not in immediate danger but are concerned about your safety, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is on 0808 2000 247 and open 24 hours a day.
Surviving Economic Abuse’s financial support line, run in partnership with Money Advice Plus, offers specialist advice to people experiencing domestic abuse who are in financial difficulty. SEA says the advice may help you to regain control of your finances.
Women’s Aid has help and advice, including a live chat service for confidential expert advice and support.
It runs a Rail to Refuge scheme, a joint initiative with rail companies where operators cover the cost of train tickets for women, men and children escaping domestic abuse travelling to refuge accommodation.
The Rail Delivery group explains more here.