Efforts to change mortgage legislation

A CLEVEDON woman unable to sell her own home has lobbied the Government in the hope legislation can be changed to help those in a similar predicament.

Louise Arthur, whose partner left her two years ago, has been left with the responsibility of paying the joint mortgage for the house they bought together in 1998.

The 37-year-old also cannot sell the house and move on due to the fact the signature of her absent partner, who she has not been able to contact for two years, would be required on any documentation.

This would be the same for any couple who have bought a house on a joint mortgage and then one of them moves on and makes no further contact.

The Ruddymead resident said: “In my case I have no idea where he is and if he will be back in touch any time soon.

“In the meantime I can’t move on nor do anything other than keep paying the mortgage here.

“If more and more people are choosing not to get married, shouldn’t this whole thing be amended accordingly?”

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Louise has written to North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox and also set up a dedicated page on the social networking site, Facebook, in the hope of raising awareness of the issue, contacting others in a similar situation and encouraging ministers to change legislation in England and Wales.

In a letter to Dr Fox, Louise said: “He could stay away for 30 plus years, in which time I would had to have paid off the whole mortgage on my own. Then, when he does finally reappear, he is legally entitled to half just because his name is still on the mortgage.

“How can this be fair?”

A response from Tom McNall from the Ministry of Justice advised that Louise would either have to take her ex-partner to court at great cost to her or carry on attempting to contact him in the hope of reaching a solution.

The letter also said the Government is waiting to see how successful legislation due to be introduced in Scotland is before making a similar move in England and Wales.

Now, Louise is hoping to contact other people in a similar situation in the hope she can realise how many others are affected and take her findings back to the Government.

* Anyone hoping to contact Louise can visit Facebook and search for the page Left Holding the Mortgage or email her at left-with-mortgage@hotmail.com