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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have declared myself bankrupt at the end of November 2013

Customer Question

I have declared myself bankrupt at the end of November 2013 and the official receiver said they wouldn't be taking any money from me then my debt was passed on to a company called mazars they are putting large amounts of costs onto my debt I own a house it's only in my name but I live with my partner and 3 year old son. Suzi my partner also pays towards bills and took out finance to have solar panels installed which cost around 12000 mazars had my house valued and it came to £155000 the outstanding mortgage is 138,417 they say the trustees equity is 16,583 and now they want a third party to make a offer what would be a reasonable offer if any should be made at all and what would you recommend I do next
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, thank you for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

Although the property is in your sole name, do you accept that your partner has an interest in it? In other words do you accept that she owns something of the property, even if her name is XXXXX XXXXX the legal title?

Customer: Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I was told she is my common law partner or something and because we have a son and she has paid council tax and bills she is entitled to half
tdlawyer :

It's not always quite that simple. You generally have to try and agree something between you in order to recognise that you have a share each, but she could become entitled to a share by virtue of substantial improvements (such as the solar panels) that she has paid for.

tdlawyer :

The point is, if she owns some of the equity, then your trustee in bankruptcy cannot touch her assets.

tdlawyer :

So if you owned half each, then the trustees claim would be limited to £8000 or so.

tdlawyer :

After the costs of sale are deducted, the best the trustee could hope to achieve would probably be around £5,000. Therefore, the trustee would probably accept an offer from her to acquire your interest in the property for around that sum.

Customer: I had a business which I have historic tax debts and vat debts also personal loans and credit cards the loans added up to around 20000 but the tax and vat debts have not been worked out as my accounts only go up to 2010 and the accountant said he wouldn't work the rest out as he knows there is no chance of payment he said roughly 60 to 80 thousand in total but like I said that's a rough estimate
Customer: Suzi also took out a 5000 loan to help me pay a previous tax bill there is still 1 year left to pay is there anything I can do about this debt to her I have she paid with her bank card to hmrc
tdlawyer :

You need to work out whether Suzi is just an unsecured creditor, like everybody else, or whether she has an interest in the property. They are two very different things. My strong suggestion to you would be to go and see a solicitor together about this. As I mentioned earlier, you normally have to have some agreement between you her to have an interest in the property, rather than simply being a loan type obligation to repay her.

tdlawyer :

It is important that you say the right things to the trustee in bankruptcy, particularly in relation to any agreement that may have been reached, or any interest that she might have in the property as a consequence of carrying out substantial improvement works.

tdlawyer :

Does this make sense?

Customer: The trustee did say I need to prove that Suzi has an interest in the property so we need to get a solicitor to put it in writing and both of us agree is that what is needed
tdlawyer :

Yes. You will need to explain to the solicitor why you both consider that she has an interest in the property when it is only new name. It might be that you agree something to that effect many years ago, or perhaps you agreed she would get something in return for investing in the solar panels or things like that. Obviously, I cannot tell you to say certain things, but this is the type of thing that the trustee is looking for in order to see that Suzy

tdlawyer :

has a claim in the propery.

tdlawyer :

Does this all make sense?

tdlawyer :

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that a solicitor instructed on your behalf will assist you anyway. But he will not misrepresent the position to the trustee.

Customer: I know this is all complicated when I bought my first house my dad leant me the money for the deposit on his credit card when I sold that house I has to pay off a previous partner and bought another house my dad said to pay him back the deposit money later or if I sell the house I'm in now whichever happened first but I was told his debt is not valid as he's my father
Customer: And I was paying 150 per month to pay it back off of his credit card and they also said I'm no longer allowed to pay this either
tdlawyer :

Yes, unfortunately, when you become bankrupt all unsecured debts become equal. You cannot pay one person ahead of the other. If you do, the money will be taken back from the person that received it.

tdlawyer :

The fact that your father loaned you the money does not make it invalid. His relationship to you is completely irrelevant.

tdlawyer :

The key to your position right now, is understanding whether Suzi has a claim to the property.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything you would like me to focus upon further for you?

Customer: I hep you don't think I'm being unreasonable with the trustee I am just trying to be fair with everyone but also look after my home
tdlawyer :

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. I fully understand your position, and see many people in exactly the same position quite often.

Customer: Thanks for your help I will try and get some legal advice as soon as possible thank again
tdlawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Is the document I need to get a cohabitation agreement it looks like it covers the things we talked about in my question
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.
Yes, if you want to cohabit in those circumstances. This will be a formal record showing your income from the renting and your trustee/official receiver will need to know about this as it's income you could use for the bankruptcy debts.