My story is we moved to France in 2002 we brought a house to live in we had a small amount of cash left so we did buy small houses in poor state - my husband was a builder so we used to do them up and sell for small profit. In 2002/03 life was good this worked for us and gave us the money to pay bills and for food at that time I was 50 and my husband was 42.
We had an opportunity come along in 2004 to have a bridging loan to buy a house that could be a potential family home once done and would give us some spare money after the sale.
The banks then would give brits the money for just about anything as the exchange rate was very favourable. So discussed with the bank manager and he said yes and he did all the paperwork and used our house as the collateral so we signed all the paperwork. The first 2 years we paid the bridging loan interest which was 9K. The bridging loan was extended a further 2 years.
Well it all went wrong for us when it was due to be paid we had no money, the bottom dropped out of the market and by 2008 we could not give the house away - so the bank went to court to get there money back - this resulted in us selling our house we were living in it, took us from 2008 to 2012 to sell our house it was January 2012 when we got offer of 112K euros for the house we were living in -we were lucky to find a t a buyer and it was only just in time as my house was in an auction for in April 2012 for 50000 euros - we owed 168000 euros now to the bank with interest and charges - so why only put my house in auction for 50K the Banks answer well we can come for the other house !!!! We were devastated with this !!!!
We were very lucky we had a buyer and sold it leaving a balance of 56K to pay I asked for a meeting to resolve this with them and no reply, I asked again in the June again no reply. I sent loads of emails, recored letters and nothing back off them. Then in October 2013 the Husslier of the Justice arrives (Bayliffs) he wanted to take pictures of the house as the bank were going to sell it to get there money back.
I was devastated we were both ill from worry but by chance while I was desperately trying to find a way to reslove this online I found out about doing a Surendettement with the Banque de France - this involves filling out a lengthy form with all the in and out goings, what income we had (lucky my husband was a builder and we had some money coming in) also about the debt.
They said we had a case and would help us we went to court before this 5 times and each time they deferred it I think the judges did not want to take or make the decission on the bank being able to sell our home which was the only one we had left to live in !!
Anyway 3 of the court appointments after this were with and through the Bank de France and in July 2015 (everything takes along time here in France should say thank god or we would have been homeless) the last judge we saw was the one we had seen before and thank god she spoke perfect english we went through it all again with her - I showed the email i received off the bank saying that once the house was sold in 2012 he would speak with me about the 56K that was owing I showed her the subsequent emails asking for a meeting and no replies from them at all. At this point the debt now was 76K with interest and charges on.
The judge deemed we had been treated dreadfully by the bank and she asked what we thought we should owe the bank so I said the 56K as if he had given us a meeting we could have done something like a mortgage to start to repay it.
Her final words on that day was I would have a judgement by the 15 July 2015 and it would be the last time we would have to go to court. True to her word we didnot have to until the 2 years were up.
Well she was very good she put the debt owed back to 56K because the bank had not replied to any of the emails and letters and gave us 2 years to sell the house. You can image the bank were not happy and insisted that the house wqs up for sale immediately.
The house went up for sale but it was still not finished even though we were living in it for 120K euros - my husband still had to work to earn money to pay for bills and to do the work on the house when he could.
In the meantime my youngest is diagnosed being a manic depressant, the job he was in was pressured and it took its toll on him he landed up with a nearvous breakdown, he lost his job and his partner who had a little girl from a previous relationship was living in the house that was brought with her ex partner - well my son since moving in with her paid the mortgage and all the bills shes as a disability and cannot work - well we helped them out with as much money that we could send to them every month for over 6 months until he was better and could look for work again. We left ourselve short many times but any parent would have done the same if they could to help there family.
Well in 2014 my husband was very ill long story but he was rushed into hospital his sugar levels were over 359 and he was lucky he didnot die - he is now a diabetic type 1 insulin dependant. It took months for him to get better but he had to finish the business (which gave us another debt of 20K for his cotistations to the RSI,to which we had to add to the Surendettement) as its had a very big effect on his health in general he lost alot of weight his or our diets changed everything fresh no salt, no sugar, no pre packed meals any more no going out as you dont know how much salt, sugar is in what you are eating !!! just aswell we did not got out very often!
August last year took another turn of events my son had a relaspe and again was out of work but we had no money to help them so as his partners family didnot like my son they refused to help there daughter unless he no longer lived in the house with her ( yes nice people!!!!) Well it go to the point the electric was about to be cut off so we and he had no choice but to bring him back here to live with us in France. I have never been so heartbroken as when they had to say good bye the tears and crying were devastating. The house went up for sale and sold very quickly and just paid the mortage off and all the debts on the bills etc.,. and she moved back in with her mother and stepfather. They are still a couple adlib long distance but they talk every day on video calls and once we move and he gets a job and a place for them to live she will join him.
This year the 2 years is up in July that was granted by the judge, already had the letter in April for us to go back to court from the bank for a hearing to fore close on our property.
I had the house valued and up for sale at 145K in August last year I have reduced it and reduced and luckly have sold it for 117K two weeks ago in May 2017 which once sold the bank get 56K the RSI get 20K and we get 41K . But at this point in time the sale papers are not yet signed the stress of just wanting them signed the 7 days cooling off period over and you know you have sold , is unbelieveable.
I do not want to remain here in France as all of what as happened I just want to leave and go to a place were its just easier to live in that sounds harsh but France if you work in a business works for you but the minute you dont or you are not self surfficent its the most dire place to be in!! and until all of what happened to us I would not have beleived it would be possible let alone happen.
My sister lives in Fuerteventura and I want to go there but 41K is not alot and anyone who as looked at it will know what I am saying, by the time I have paid for a container to move our stuff there and store as nowhere to live right now would mean we would not have enough to buy a place outright or we could buy a plot of land but not have any money to put something on to live in!
But if we could have the money for a plot of land we could look at a self build wooden construction or even a mobile home or even a Caravan we would have the money for the electric and water, swerage and to pay for the planning permission.
I am 67 years old I am tired of all of what as happened to us this was not what I thought would happen my husband worked hard in our business I did the accounts ordered the materials we always paid for everything up front we tried so hard !!!
if someone had given me a crystal ball and said this is what will happen I would never have left the uk, but I know hindsight is a wonderful thing but it never happens! - at 50 I had a dream but falling foul of the banks here is so soul destroying and all the court appearances all in french with a translator so hard to speak french is one thing but dealing with courts etc is very different and very hard to understand.
Now I just want to be by my family for the end of my days . We live off my state pension 153 per week this just pays for our bills and food, and fuel my husband will not get his pension till 67 and his private one 65, we can manage on this but and big but I need the money for the plot of land!!!
So this is the reason I am asking for donations to help leave this country I fell into a money pit and there was no way out and now I just want to move to where I can spend my last years with my sister her husband and daughter and husband live and just be by my family.
This is my house I have just sold I loved it but the french banking system as made me feel I just want to leave france forever. Please beare I am not the only one going through this but most just hand in there deeds and walk away back to the uk because they are holiday homes and they cannot keep up with the mortgages but for us it was our life our business and chance at a better life and my husband worked really hard at it but ill heath and the constant brow beating from the bank through the husslier of the justice takes its toll - it reduces you to feeling worthless and thats why I am asking for help to just get away from here to a better adlib not years and years of a happy retirement but some - thank you to all for read this if I do get there from the dontations I would be happy to meet you if you ever get to fuerteventura although I didnot realise from the uk its a 5 hour flight - but if you do get ther would love to meet up with you and thanks for reading my story and seeing what it gave us, there is way more but this really is as breif a version of it - once again thanks for reading it. If you want to contact me please do. Also excuse any spelling mistakes I know there are mistakes but no spell checker and at 67 its late I am too tired to start again please for give me my errors.
This is my lovely house I have to sell to pay the bank off with i love it but after all that we have been through we are happy to let it go just to get our lives back!!!