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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 33276
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am currently married and have one child (6 month old

Customer Question

Hi there,
I am currently married and have one child (6 month old baby).
Unfortunately things have not worked out with my wife, and we have decided to file for a divorce.
We are looking to part ways amicably and I want to leave the house (which is worth £440,000 and we have approx £220,000 remaining on the mortgage).
It was my decision to end the relationship, and i am happy to walk again with nothing.
The issue I have is that i personally owe HMRC from unpaid income tax from 2014. HMRC have not yet requested the payment as yet but when they do I do not want my wife to potential lose the house.
Can you confirm that if we get divorced and I declare myself bankrupt can HMRC still go after the house?
Please advise as I do not want my wife and the baby to be left to pick up my debt and be forced into selling the house.
thanks
Michael
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How much do you owe?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Claire, I owe approx £38,000 from an income tax return in 2014. Hmrc have not issued the payment request but I am sure it's coming next year. Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

What other assets are there and what income do you each have?

How old is the baby?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi there, we don't have any other assets. The baby is 6 months old.I am currently unemployed but looking for a job on approx £30,000 per year.My wife is on maternity leave and her salary is approx £24,000 per annum.Please adviseThanks
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

How much would a two bedroom property in the same general area cost to buy?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
By the way, the money HMRC are investigating is from when I had my own business. My accountant advised me to pay myself through an off shore scheme. All the money went back into the business which has now gone into liquidation.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Around £140,000 for a 2 bedroom house. However I'm looking for way for my wife to remain in this house once we are divorced. Her family will help with the mortgage as she do not want to leave the house.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

I am afraid that if your go bankrupt within five years then the house will be at risk, even if there is a Financial Order sealed by the Court within Divorce proceedings.

This is because there is no justification for her receiving the property in full and final settlement of her claims.

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Do you think hmrc will allow me to make a payment plan for what I can realistically afford? Maybe £200 per month?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

They will certainly be happy to come to an agreement of some sort yes

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