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Bradford & Bingley v Mohammed Rashid

Letters from a mortgagor seeking time to pay the shortfall due under a mortgage following repossession and sale of the mortgaged property were acknowledgements of the debt due to the mortgagee for the purpose of the time limits under the Limitation Act 1980 and were not protected by the without prejudice rule from being admitted in evidence as acknowledgments.

28 July 2006

The appellant mortgagee (B) appealed against the decision ([2005] EWCA Civ 1080) that its claim against the respondent mortgagor (R) was statute-barred. Following the repossession of R’s property on which the mortgage had been secured, B had commenced proceedings to recover from R the shortfall between the sale proceeds and the balance due under the mortgage. R argued that the proceedings had been commenced outside the limitation period under s 20(1) of the Limitation Act 1980. The judge held that a letter written by an advice centre on R’s behalf, explaining that he could not afford to pay “the outstanding balance”, had acknowledged the debt, and that therefore, under s 29(5) of the Act, time had begun to run afresh from the date of the letter and the proceedings were not statute-barred. The judge concluded that a second letter offering a lesser sum in settlement had been written impliedly without prejudice and so was inadmissible. The Court of Appeal concluded that both le...

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