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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34890
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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In 2008 I was made bankrupt - now discharged

Customer Question

In 2008 I was made bankrupt - now discharged for some time. Part of the bankruptcy included the former matrimonial home occupied then, and now, by my former wife and two children. The house was in negative equity at the time and the Trustee in Bankruptcy, placed a charge on the house. I continued to pay the mortgage. I had assumed at the time that I had lost title to the house, but on checking with the Land Registry I see that I am still listed as the title holder, with the Trustee's charge still in place.
The house is now in back in the black. What is it's status? Is it mine, the Bank's or the OR's?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your interest in me but this isn't my area.
I will opt out for others.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


does that mean someone else will deal with it?

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you.Was your ex offered the chance to "buy out" the Trustee in BankruptcyClare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, although the Trustee did indicate in the early days that it might be an option. The fact that the property remained in negative equity up until the time of my bankruptcy discharge meant that option option was never pursued.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Just to check - the house is in your sole name?was it dealt with within divorce proceedings?When were you discharged from bankruptcy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The house is in my name only. I was discharged from bankruptcy in 2013. The house was part of the divorce settlement: my former wife and children would remain in the house (the former matrimonial home) until the youngest completed her tertiary education. The settlement deal was that I would pay the mortgage, and on disposal the equity would be split 50:50 between me and my former wife. Obviously the divorce settlement was reached prior to my bankruptcy. She, naturally, has a charge over the property.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Ah I seeExcellentHow much is the equity now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Half a million or so.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
That is a very sudden change from negative equity?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm not sure why the size of the equity is material to the question I ask. But, for what it's worth, it is not a very sudden change - it all depends on the original starting values.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
My apologies for the delay.It is relevant because if there is any suggestion that there has been some underhand dealing involved it would be a major factor in the approach taken.Could you confirm the wording of the Charge shown on the Register to the Trustee
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As follows:

"BANKRUPTCY RESTRICTION entered under section 86 (4) of the Land Registration Act 2002, as the title of the proprietor of the registered estate appears to be affected by a bankruptcy order made by the xxxx County Court against xxxx [me].

No disposition of the registered estate is to be registered until the trustee in bankruptcy of the property of the bankrupt is registered as proprietor of the registered estate."

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
To your knowledge did the Trustee apply for any of these:- an order for sale of the house; an order of possession for the house; an order imposing a charge on the house
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not to my knowledge, and I think he would have told me if he was applying.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

In the absence of such Orders then the ownership of your share of the property has reverted to you

You should write to the land Registry showing evidence of the discharge and confirming that no Orders have been made.

I hope that this is if assistance - please ask if you need further details