'I've been contacted about a shortfall - but I shouldn't have to pay it'


We look at Jay’s complaint about the shortfall on his mortgage.

What happened

After Jay lost his job, his house was repossessed and sold, leaving a £40,000 shortfall. Eight years later, a debt collection company contacted Jay and asked him to pay. Jay thought it was wrong to be asked for the money. He’d paid for an insurance policy when he took out the mortgage, which he thought covered him against having to repay the shortfall.

What we said

We noted that the insurance policy meant the lender got paid. But that gave the insurer the right to seek repayment from Jay. It later sold the shortfall debt to the debt collection company. They’d waited a few years to get in touch, to allow time for Jay’s financial situation to improve. But eight years without contact was too long – given the law and relevant rules on taking recovery action. So we thought it was unreasonable for them to ask Jay to repay the shortfall.