Borrower in Rock repossession case dispute
A Northern Rock borrower who lost his home after assaulting a relative whom he believed, falsely, to be a sex offender, is in dispute with the state-owned lender over nearly £100,000 of arrears.
Terry Armstrong, who had to give up his home to the victim’s solicitors after being unable to pay costs, said the bank, now in the form of Northern Rock Asset Management, is still chasing him for missed payments, despite not living there since 2009.
Mr Armstrong said: “It is unfair that NRAM has applied arrears between August 2008 and now for a house we could not occupy.” Mr Armstrong had decided to remortgage the property, Grove Mill Cottage, in 2003 with Northern Rock using the Rapid Remortgage service.
However, a court order in 2006 ruled that as Mr Armstrong was unable to pay the victim’s costs, from the attack in 2002, he would have to give up his home for the relative’s lawyer Kingsfords Solicitors to sell. This is because the victim has since passed away, not as a result of the assault.
Mr Armstrong and his family were evicted from the property in August 2008 and again in January 2009. He then spent between 2009 and 2012 in negotiation with Kent-based Kingsfords about repaying the costs and regarding adjoining land that was still in his name. In May 2012, NRAM boarded up the windows and took “peaceful possession”
Mr Armstrong claimed NRAM was wrong to take possession as he claimed the property was in the control of Kingsfords, and said it could not be sold as his name was on Land Registry documents regarding the land surrounding the property.
Mr Armstrong said he was in conversation with the law firm to reach a settlement that would see him take back the property.
He said: “I am trying to make a deal where I give them a sum of money to remove the costs charger and my family gets the house back. That is more difficult now that Northern Rock has taken possession.”
Kevin Harper, solicitor for Kingsfords, declined to comment on Mr Armstrong’s dispute with Northern Rock and did not respond to requests for comment regarding any settlement discussions. A spokesman for NRAM said: “We have been engaged with Mr Armstrong for a number of years with the aim of reaching a mutually agreeable solution that is fair to both parties. This has not been achieved to date although NRAM will continue to engage with Mr Armstrong in line with its legal and regulatory obligations.”