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Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Advocate
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience:  LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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Hi - Can you advise of the maximum values that can be used

Resolved Question:

Hi - Can you advise of the maximum values that can be used for expenditure when calculating income & expenditure for the purpose of identifying the disposable income and therefore monthly payments for the three years. What will the Official Receiver think is acceptable. The issue for me is that I have no assets, I am unemployed but have a wealthy family that help by making some regular household payments, which has the effect of making my living costs fairly high. I am looking for a list of acceptable costs for each item, Food, travel etc.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 2 years ago.
Hi, welcome to the site. My name is ***** ***** I will help you with your question. There is no list of expenditure which the OR will compare your own expenditure against. Disposal income is looked at on an individual basis and the persons own circumstances and looking at the persons reasonable outgoings I.e rent, mortgage, bills (depends on size of house/no. Of rooms) dependant children/persons. Even though family help you out the OR does not need to know any details - it's none of his business. I would simply tell the OR that the assistance from family can stop (and is likely to stop) and that you have no income and certainly no disposable income. Your family is not required to pay any income payment order when the debt is yours. Also tell the OR that When the money stops coming from family you will have to pay all your outgoings yourself.
Let me know if you need any further information or clarification.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the answer, however the true costs may be high and more than my income. Can the OR disallow high costs?

Expert:  Max Lowry replied 2 years ago.
The costs (expenses) are what they are. There is nothing he can say or do about them unless of course you are for instance claiming £70 a month for sky tv (which the OR will say is not a necessity). If your bills are large because you live in a expensive house there is nothing the OR can do. If your shopping bills are unreasonably high because you shop at Waitrose for example he could ask you to reduce your shopping bill by maybe shopping somewhere cheaper.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You illustrate a very good example - my wife does shop at M&S and our weekly sopping is quite high, which currently runs about £135.00 as we have my step son and his daughter over each week. How would the OR work out the value he is going to allow which could increase how much I have to pay each month. We also live in a large house and our heating/electric is high about £1800.00 per year, can he force us to reduce our consumption?

Expert:  Max Lowry replied 2 years ago.
To be fair £135 a week on food shopping for 2 (plus 2) is not overly excessive including toiletries etc. It seems fairly reasonable. Even if the OR queried it he may say its excessive by around £50-£70. I can't see the OR wasting time with this. Really, as long as you can justify your expenditure even if it's a slightly unreasonable sum I don't he will bother with it. No, he can't force you/recommend you to decrease your heating/electricity bills.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** question do I have to include my wife's income in the Income & expenditure or can I just divide the costs in 2 and apply my income to 50% of the total costs? She earns more than I do and she owns the house we live in, I have no assets.

Expert:  Max Lowry replied 2 years ago.
There's no obligation to provide your wife's income. You will need to put down the costs and expenses which you cover (the ones you pay with assistance of family) or those expenses which you may partially pay for I.e if you both contribute to the utility bills put down the total paid but show the proportion you pay.
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