What can be done about a mortgage lender that will not allow a mortgage re-structure?

We live in the UK and have a house in FL that we purchased 3 years ago as a holiday home and for short term holiday lets. This last year we have had a long-term tenant in the property, and due to the recession we got behind with the mortgage repayments but then managed to catch up. Out lender has been messing us around with the mortgage for the last year with the payments telling us 1 minute that they are going to restructure the mortgage and not to make any payments, then changing there minds again. Because we live in the UK we don’t seem to have any rights. We have paid our taxes to the USA for 3 years now. We are now in the situation where they want to foreclose or short sale the property which we do not want to do. Please could you give me any advice to help our situation and would it be possible to take our lender to court due to all the back and forth and heartache that they have caused us over the last few years?

Asked on July 13, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, lenders are not required to restructure mortgages--restructuring is completely voluntary on their part, which means that--in addition to simply saying "no," they can bo back and forth, be difficult, change their minds, etc. The only rights that borrowers have is the right to keep their property (i.e. not be foreclosed upon) as long as they make their payments per the terms of the mortgage. The treatment you are getting is fairly common--it has nothing to do with being in the UK and, unfortunately, you cannot sue the lender for doing what they have a legal right to do, even they do it in a  particularly obnoxious and irritating way. All you can do is continue to try to work out some restructuring, if you're not able to sell the property and get out from under it.


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