‘I READ your column every week and I hope you can help with my problem.
I have held a Spanish mortgage since 2005. Half of the mortgage is with my daughter, who has never contributed and who has now returned to England and cannot pay.
I am finding the payments increasingly difficult, so I asked the bank if I could pay interest only for a time.
They say they need my daughter’s signature to do this and it would cost me 1000 euros to amend the mortgage. I do not have the money to do this. Can I get her name off the mortgage? She never contributed towards the payments and now we are no longer in contact.
Also, I would like to sell the property and buy something less expensive. Can you please give me some advice?’
1. I SHALL assume that your daughter owns half of your house if she has signed for half of the mortgage. Does she know that the bank can pursue her assets in the UK if mortgage payments are not made in Spain?
2. If your daughter owns half the house, you need her signature to sell it as well as to amend your present mortgage. Perhaps you should establish contact with her.
3. The figure of around €1,000 to modify your existing mortgage sounds about right. However, there is no way simply to remove your daughter from this existing mortgage without her agreement.
4. One possible way forward is to take out a completely new mortgage with another bank. In the new mortgage you could include a sufficient amount to pay for the cancellation of your existing mortgage as well as the opening fees and other charges.
5. It appears that you have income and are able to make small monthly payments. It also seems that you have paid on the existing mortgage for six years so you have a start. A new mortgage over a longer time period, even at a higher interest rate, might enable you to continue making your payments.
6. A final note. A mortgage offer from another bank can often make your present bank suddenly more helpful so my counsel is to visit a new bank immediately.