Monday, March 10, 2008

Access to justice failure shows Legal Aid victory on mortgage rights case could still mean your money or your house

A recent court victory in a case involving the use of the Mortgage Rights Act (Scotland) 2001 to challenge a repossession has resulted in lawyers claiming that legal aid will now be useless for mortgage rights case and that lawyers wont take on representing the public in similar legal actions.

The Mortgage Rights Act allows homeowners to challenge a lender repossessing their home, but you have to go to court to do it, and also of course you have to use a lawyer to get to court. If you do not have the money to pursue legal action, you may qualify for legal aid, but in turn, you need a lawyer to apply for that legal aid.If you win your case, generally the Legal Aid Board will not ask for its money back from you, although strangely enough, SLAB doesn't seem to want to pursue the mortgage lenders for recovery of funds ...

While the Scottish Legal Aid Board has not asked for money back in such cases since 2003, a recent BBC News report seems to indicate that SLAB may now be changing their policy, at the inspiration of some in the legal & financial professions no doubt, and want their money back from homeowners ...

Mike Dailly : Legal Aid now meaningless for mortgage repossession cases

Unfortunately for the public, the best suggestion from the legal profession in the report comes from solicitor Mike Dailly, of the Govan Law Centre, where he states that legal aid is now meaningless for mortgage repossession, with the report going on to say that solicitors will probably not take on such cases in the future.

A better suggestion perhaps then would be to call for the opening of the legal services market, to expand the availability of, and drive down the costs of legal representation to the public, so anyone who needs representation in such a case, and legal aid funding, can get it, without it reaching the costs currently associated with such actions.

Don't get me wrong about the Govan Law Centre, I'm all for what it does and how it helps people, but just a stones throw away from Mike Dailly's own house, a poor innocent woman has been systematically victimised and abused by a Housing Association in a long running campaign designed to ruin her health and her life, which has involved using lawyers to bully and harass the lady for years, even changing her secured tenancy into an assured tenancy, without any legal basis for doing so while the victimised tenant has been and is continually denied any access to proper legal representation and justice.

The innocent woman, who has been through much hardship and personal loss, has been held in sequestration for nearly a decade by a well known lawyer who is now a serving Sheriff, solely it would seem, on the basis of recovering legal costs from a negligence action against a firm of solicitors which the tenant lodged many years ago.

Many see the sequestration itself, which has run for nearly ten years, as an act of revenge for the tenant's bravery in making a claim of solicitors negligence against the infamously corrupt Law Society of Scotland's Master Insurance Policy, and within the tenant's case, the usual suspects of the Law Society appear - Chief Executive Douglas Mill, Director of Regulation Philip Yelland ... little wonder then that the poor victimised tenant is constantly being denied access to legal representation and justice , and her life continually being interdicted by members of Scotland's gallant legal profession who are just peachy about abusing the public when it suits ...

So, how about doing something Mr Dailly ?

Only a stones throw from your own house .. you should be able to manage it ? Could you manage to help a woman whose life is being blighted, abused, and ruined by a housing association and some of your colleagues in the legal profession, just so they can get their hands on her flat ? Surely access to justice should prevail and the lady's legal problems resolved to allow her to live in peace ?

Getting back to the BBC coverage of the Mortgage Rights case, the new report goes on to quote Cathy Craigie MSP, the MSP behind the Mortgage Rights Act, has written to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to see if he will review the law to protect the public's rights & interests ... but with Mr MacAskill constantly bowing to big business and the professions recently, there may not be too much hope of that.

As for the Scottish Legal Aid Board - well, wouldn't they be better going after those financial institutions and lenders who lose these kinds of legal actions, rather than going after the homeowner who won the case ?

They have plenty of money anyway, so asking financially ruined homeowners to pay back the legal expenses who won the case, while allowing the lenders to escape paying the entire costs of the case seems to be a bit one sided.

Will the SNP and Justice Secretary MacAskill do something for homeowners in such cases or is this yet another step too far for Mr MacAskill in protecting the public from bullying lenders and a hungry legal profession ?


Anonymous said...

Why not just cut out the need for lawyers in these kinds of cases and amend the law as Craigie suggests.

Anonymous said...

Be interesting to see if Dailly replies to your challenge.If not I'm sure the News of the World will be able to help her and put those b*stards in their place who are hounding her.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree the legal aid board should chase the banks and lenders for repaying legal expenses if they lose the case but of course the lawyers wont want that because many of them work for those same banks and lenders !

I hope the tenant you mention near Mr Dailly gets some proper legal help.If hes so keen to speak on bbc he can go round and help the woman too!

Anonymous said...

a housing association near to Dailly that is victimising tenants oh well that wont be too difficult to find and if they are doing it to one they are doing it to more so get the papers in on this Peter now !

inclined to believe said...

The SNP will lose a few of their business supporters if MacAskill has to amend the law (which I don't think he will do anyway).

You wouldn't get an msp caught in this kind of mess though and you only need to look at the expenses website to see how many SNP MSPS are currently getting their mortgages paid for by the taxpayer.Oh and I though they were going to stop all that but it seems not.What a surprise.

Anonymous said...

it'll be a bigger surprise if Dailly does anything but full makrs for showing him up !

Anonymous said...

A sequestration cannot last for a decade.Which Sheriff is involved in that case you refer to ?

Anonymous said...

Usually it is the defeated party in any action which is repsonsible for costs - unless it happens to be a insurer or bank it seems.

Also worth remebering that Mr. Dailly, the self appointed 'peoples champion' was vociferous is his opposition to the Which Super-Complaint, which was (perhaps rather surprisingly) subsequently supported by the OFT recommendations for change.

Result..............No Change, care of MacAskill et al.

Anonymous said...

How did the Housing Association manage to change her tenancy from secured to assured ?

Why does this woman not have a lawyer ?

Does she qualify for legal aid ?

Anonymous said...

readers don't be fooled by the Govan Law Centre and what it claims it does
it wont take on a fight against any lawyer or someone they fear they will upset
ive been in it a couple of times and these people were of no use to me one even refusing to do anything and he said just get out of here all because the sod who is involved against me who is a property baron too is in the snp
all the housing assocs in glasgow are crap too so dont trust any of them
im sure you could expose 10000s of cases where people are getting kicked out of their places so lawyers cam move into them !

Anonymous said...

Aye good point about the legal aid lot not going after the banks.Cherbi always gets to the core of the issue and once again shows up the newspapers who should be doing it too.

The hootsmon became the lawyermon I think haha!

shinty mcbinny said...

How many lawyers ever get their homes repossessed? I cant think of any!

How many clients get their homes repossessed where the lawyer mis-sold them the mortgage endowment?

There will be a HUGE difference in the answers to those two questions!

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask Mike Dailly how many cases he takes on for people who have been mis-sold mortgage endowment policies by lawyers.

Do you think the answer to that might be a ZERO ?

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @ 4.20pm

Not a bad idea, but I'm sure the lenders will find a way to stall such reforms - remember they have a lot of 'influence' with the current administration ...

Business before people in the Justice Secretary's eyes.

#Anonymous @ 4.36pm

Yes, that may be a good idea ...

#Anonymous @ 5.01pm

Yes,a bit odd that SLAB doesn't chase the banks & lenders ... why I wonder is that ?

If the lady I mentioned does receive help from Mr Dailly, or if a lawyer is kind enough to contact me and offer his services, I will of course report the story, as I am going to do very soon in any case, featuring her terrible predicament, mostly caused by members of the legal profession in Scotland ...

#Anonymous @ 5.23pm

Yes, thanks, and if you know or get to know of any cases, please contact me.

#Anonymous @ 6.48pm

It seems a sequestration can last for a decade - at least in this lady's case, but that seems to be due to the fact a very influential and well known Sheriff is behind it ... victimisation or what ?

I will identify the Sheriff involved when I report on the case in further detail.

#Anonymous @ 6.59pm

Good points, and I agree with you entirely.

I think there will only be change if we have a new Justice Secretary. Mr MacAskill consistently proves he puts business and the professions before Scots. That is not what Scotland should be about ... there should be an even balance which is not hard to achieve if one is not so 'bloody minded' as some in Government.

#Anonymous @ 7.24pm

The Housing Association managed to change her tenancy from secured to assured, by a combination of bullying and using some allegedly false documentation ... something ripe for exposure in the media.

The lady does not have a lawyer currently because the legal profession are bent on revenge against her as she filed a negligence claim against a former legal representative.

The lady does qualify for legal aid, but it seems some lawyers at the Scottish Legal Aid Board have been given the wink by the Law Society not to grant her full legal aid ...

#Anonymous @ 7.13pm

Please email me any details of those issues you mention.

#Shinty mcbinnie @ 7.58pm

I can't think of any cases I've heard of a lawyer having his home repossessed, nor that of an MSP ...

#Anonymous @ 8.24pm

I think the answer to that one will definitely be zero ...

Anonymous said...

Hey Pete

No use appealing to these kind of people to take a case on - remember lawyers are bloodless beings where money only flows in their veins, not all that BS about helping people out etc

Anonymous said...

Dailly and his kind are quick to seek out legal aid capable clients if they want to push home a point on the law but not when it comes to mortgages it seems.

Too much money flowing between these lenders and lawyers over all this stuff and time it was stopped.No wonder the public always get the worst deal because the banks are backed up by these same legal thugs.

Anonymous said...

Usually it is the defeated party in any action which is repsonsible for costs - unless it happens to be a insurer or bank it seems.

To the person who made that comment - I agree entirely and wonder why the legal aid board have not chased lenders in this case or if there are other cases such as this how many times have SLAB not troubled the lenders.I think an FOI is in order here Mr Cherbi!

Who do SLAB go after to recover fees and who do they not go after ?

If there'ss one rule for one and another rule for lawyers or banks then we as the taxpayer have to know about it !

Anonymous said...

I'd like to offer my services to this lady you mention but the prospect of having to deal with Douglas Mill et all doesn't fill me with happiness.

Why is the Chief Executive of the Law Society involved in such a case anyway.What has this woman done to them which merits ruining her life ?

Anonymous said...

Hows your pal 'The Thin Man" aka John Swinney doing?

When is he coming to save us from dangerous MacAskill?

Anonymous said...

Nice to see people raising points about mis-sold mortgage endowments via lawyers.

The Law Society has purposely sat back while all this was happening and should be held as liable as its members for inflicting hard financial losses on clients.

Anonymous said...

Scotland would be better off without all these lawyers,MacAskill included.

Anonymous said...

You may be interested to know that a highly respected Scottish legal firm has been shown the door after Executives at an American company read your blog.

Rumour has it they didn't want to be ripped off.What would give them that idea Mr Cherbi?

Keep up the good work.

Peter Cherbi said...

#Anonymous @ 4.51pm

A good idea, but you can bet they either wont release such statistics or will cover it up.

If there is one constant in looking for information from the legal establishment - its "dishonesty".

#Anonymous @ 7.35pm

If you know of any lawyers who could assist the lady I mentioned in the case, please contact me.

#Anonymous @ 7.11pm

Good to hear that.Feel free to email me the details of that incident.

As for what gave them the idea, I have no idea myself, but I assume people are getting wise to the way the Scots legal profession treats their clients - both private and corporate.

Anonymous said...

Anyone would be mad to use a Scottish lawyer even the yanks so no bit surprise they threw them out after reading this stuff.Was Macaskill lobbying them for business by any chance ?