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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22306
Experience:  New Zealand qualified lawyer with 37 years of experience.
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RE: In need of Legal advice from only New Zealand Lawyers Hi,

Customer Question

RE: In need of Legal advice from only New Zealand Lawyers
Hi, after years of absence from New Zealand I have settled in the UK permanently. Recently I got around to sorting out my student loan matter which I have ignored and discovered that I am completely not able to repay the debt. I have tried to condense the total to a much smaller amount but even at which, it would take a massive amount out of what I currently earn.
I would like to know the answers to few questions that I have as a consequence of defaulting on my student load:
Will it affect my credit rating in the UK?
Can the NZ Govt. come after my wife's assets as our house and mortgage is under her name?
As a non NZ resident - will the decision to default affect me at all?
Any help would be grateful
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
Chris The Lawyer : The default is unlikely to affect your credit rating in the UK, because creditors are generally not interested in what you have done in other countries
Chris The Lawyer : They cannot chase you for assets owned by your wife. If they are owned by her, and always have been then they are quite safe
Chris The Lawyer : If you continue to fail to pay, they may not do anything because of the cost of enforcing this in the UK. Many in your situation file for bankruptcy which applies just to New Zealand and does not affect you in the UK
Customer:

Hi Chris, I might of talked to you on this subject previously but need more clarity.

Customer:

After reading the NZ Insolvency website concerning bankruptcy I have seen a section where the partner/spouse can be approached to pay the debt. It does note that the assets have to be jointly owned but how do they determine this? Could you advice of what to expect once I declare bankruptcy ie will they need to see my bank statements for the next three years, or payslip etc?

Chris The Lawyer : If assets are jointly owned this means they are in both your names. A joint bank account or a house in your joint names is an example. But if they are just in your partners name alone, then they cannot. However if you have gifted the property to her or transferred assets within the two years before bankruptcy, to her, then that does affect the position.
Customer:

We bought a house two and a half years ago but the house and mortgage agreement is in her name. So I take it that this qualifies as an asset owned soley by her? What about the process itself, am I to submit details of my financial standing on an ongoing basis for three years?

Chris The Lawyer : they will normally ask to see to see your bank accounts and pay slips. Was there a reason the house is in her name alone?
Customer:

My wife hated the fact that as I had been travelling around the world for a number of years, I hadn't built up any credit rating and as such it would of affected her credit rating. And for situations like this. She did not want to be vunerable if we were to separate and not be without a house. As for the house ownership, how do I prove that it doesn't actually belong to me? do I have to submit legal documents?

Customer:

Will/Can they will ask to see my wifes bank accounts too?

Chris The Lawyer : They may ask her, but if you assert she didn't want you to be an owner, and you accepted this, then they may accept this.
Chris The Lawyer : Did you pay a half share of expenses or pay her board?
Customer:

I paid for absolutely nothing to ensure that I could not claim anything on the house if we were to separate. I even signed a prenuptial agreement on the day of my marriage.

Customer:

Sorry just read your question again, do you mean do I currently pay half the household expenses ie energy bills, groceries, my childs school fees then the answer is yes

Customer:

but I don't pay anything towards boarding here

Chris The Lawyer : The prenup is really useful and would make it clear you have no claim to her property. The Insolvency and Trustee Service will want to see that. That is pretty important and does give the protection she needs
Customer:

ok hopefully I can find it. How long will the process take for being official declared bankrupt and as above, will I need to continuously update NZ insolvency with my financials?

Chris The Lawyer : Once you file the application it just takes about a week. You have obligations to tell them about the wages you earn, but apart from advising of any windfall, like Lotto, and when you change jobs, they will leave you alone after the initial discussions. It is important to get the statement of affairs in as the three years of bankruptcy starts from when they get that document
Customer:

ok, there are some other questions but being 1am I shall leave them here for you to view in the morning, cheers Chris

Chris The Lawyer : No problem

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