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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70516
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am seeking advice as I am not working due to ill health,

Customer Question

Hello I am seeking advice as I am not working due to ill health, my estranged husband has got into financial difficulties i.e claiming housing benefit when he should not have been. Now the court have told me that I have to sell my house to pay his debt when it was nothing to do with me as he was living away from the family home for the last 13 years. Can they make me homeless through no fault of mine?
Thank you
Jeannette Cerikan
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Is he going bankrupt?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not that I know off, would it be better if he did?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Not particularly. The equity in your house would be a target.
Which court is this before?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Gloucester Crown Court
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Is this a proceeds of crime act matter?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The local council took him to court, and he was given a suspended sentence for 21 months, that is what I was told by his brother. But as I have said we have not lived together for the last 13 years so the information I am getting is through his brother. Does this make sense?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
You do need to get to the bottom of this but I think that this can only be a proceeds of crime act matter.
Unless, I suppose, they have a compensation order in the sum taken and they are pursuing the house because he has equity in it. That is possible although doesn't happen often.
However, I don't think it could be a proceeds of crime act plunder unless they are saying this particular house was purchased with tainted money. Impossible to tell really. That is something you will need to investigate.
If it were a proceeds of crime act matter then you would have had the right to make representations as a joint owner.
However, it is certainly right that you can be forced to sell to release equity to pay his debts. Your share of the house will be protected and your equity ringfenced for you alone but his equity can only be released by sale I'm afraid.
If you can more information I might be able to offer more.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello thank you, ***** ***** is no equity in the house as we borrowed the money from his family, and they took the house back in there names, as we split up. He lived in Cheltenham and I lived in Tetbury
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
That sounds like proceeds of crime then. They are saying this is a tainted purchase.
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So does this mean I need to get a lawyer?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
You would be entitled to make representations.
The only other thing may be that they could be saying the transfer to his family wasn't genuine but again that sounds like proceeds of crime.