Jilted wife wins mortgage appeal

Jilted wife wins mortgage appeal


A wife who signed a joint remortgage with her husband to cover his debts whilst he was engaged in a secret affair has been told that she does not have to meet her repayments. 

After 44 year-old Jayne Hewitt discovered her husband Darren Hewitt’s philandering, he left the family home. The couple subsequently divorced and Mr Hewitt was declared bankrupt, leaving his ex-wife to buy out his half-share in the house for £1.        


The Court of Appeal ruled that because Mr Hewitt’s behaviour that carried a risk of the withdrawal of both emotional and financial support, the joint mortgage, based on Mrs Hewitt’s assumption of a committed marriage, was obtained duplicitously.


Whilst it is a somewhat interesting case, it will most likely not set a precedent, according to legal experts.


Jonathon Newman, a solicitor for Brightstone Law, said: “Importantly, Mr Hewitt had promised to his wife, to make all repayments under the new mortgage personally.”


In violating this, Mr Hewitt had breached his obligation of candour and fairness to his wife, leaving her unable to make an informed decision.


By 1999, Mr Hewitt had fallen into debt through overspending on credit cards, which would continue to spiral and leave his family at risk of losing their home.


In 2003, Mr Hewitt began an illicit affair with a married secretary, Yvonne Bendon. A few months later, he convinced his initially reluctant wife to remortgage a bungalow that they had purchased with the help of her mother in 1999.


After the couple’s divorce, Mr Hewitt lost his job and was declared bankrupt. Mrs Hewitt was left struggling to make the repayments on the remortgage with First Plus Financial Group, and the couple’s initial debt of £38,000 soared to £60,000.


In 2008 First Plus filed for repossession of the property and was initially approved by a county court. Subsequently, Mrs Hewitt appealed and was absolved of any responsibility for the joint mortgage.


Mr Hewitt was also found guilty of forging his mother-in-law’s signature as part of the remortgage.


As Mr Hewitt remains retains responsibility for the joint mortgage, First Plus is eligible to reapply for repossession. If granted, the house will still have to be sold, however Mrs Hewitt should be entitled to keep half the profit - a point her solicitor is still negotiating.


Mrs Hewitt said: “I am just so relieved and happy the judges found in my favour. It was so unfair I might have been kicked out because of my husband’s reckless spending.”

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