Credit Repair-Bankruptcy by Steven Hay
Part 1 was yesterday and Part 3 will be featured tomorrow.
REMEMBER – Beneficial Interest
If your co-owners have any intention of buying out your equity share of the property, they must do it quickly. Otherwise, the Official Receiver may take it into his hands in selling your home altogether. Those who want to buy your beneficial interest must get in touch with your Official Receiver and transact with him directly. The Insolvency Service charges very low for the transfer of your beneficial interest so this should not really be a hard thing to manage. You also need to reach an agreement with your Official Receiver on the actual value of your beneficial interest before this kind of transaction is made. If there is negative equity in the property, the value of your beneficial interest may go from a minimal amount of £1.00.
INFORMATION – Low cost conveyancing scheme
To avail of details about low cost conveyancing scheme, there is a leaflet entitled “What will happen to my home?” which are available in The Insolvency Service. You may also call National Debtline on telephone numbers 0808 808 4000 for more information.
If you fail to have someone buy out your beneficial interest in your home or property, your Official Receiver will have no other choice but to sell it. If your home has very little or no equity in it, the court will have to postpone the sale up to three years and see if your property has risen in value. Make an agreement with your Official Receiver about your beneficial interest to keep this scenario from happening.
If you still have mortgage or secured loan on your property, your monthly payments should be maintained to stop your lender from taking possession of your property.
New rules from April 2004
Before April 2004, the Official Receiver is allowed to come back at any time in the future to take your property and sell it. This has now changed. If you went bankrupt after April 2004, the Official Receiver is given only three years to deal with your property. If he is not able to sell it within the period, he will have to give your property back under your ownership. To counteract this law, the Official Receiver can either sell your home immediately, apply for an order for sale, or apply for a charge. If your Official Receiver applies for a charge, he will be given 12 years to ask for an order for sale.
Will I have to pay anything from my wages?
You may be asked to pay a specific amount from your earnings if the Official Receiver has proven that you have money to spare. He will think out your income and your expenses (including your mortgage, your rent, your household bills, and any other form of expenditures) and study whether you will have allowances for a monthly due.
Income Payments Orders & Income Payments Agreements
The Enterprise Act states that Bankruptcy orders expires after a period of one year. However, you may be asked to enter a binding agreement that will have you pay monthly fees from your earnings for three years under an income payments agreement. If your circumstances change at any period that the agreement is in effect, you can send a notice to your Official Receiver so your case will be looked at again. If you fail to pay your obligations, however, your Official Receiver will have the option to go to court and file for an income payments order against you. This way, the court will rule, based on the Official Receiver’s recommendations, how much you will need to pay for a period of three years.
The Effects of Bankruptcy
Once you went bankrupt, you will need to close your bank account or your building society account. You may open another one for as long as it has been agreed by your Official Receiver and that the bank or building society allows you to. That is why it is best to open an account when you are already discharged from bankruptcy.
INFORMATION – Instant access type accounts
Instant access type accounts may allow you work through a cash card. If you are interested to obtain more information regarding this, you get in touch with the National Debtline on 0808 808 4000.
Going bankrupt can affect your life greatly. In fact, the people that you are going to transact with will usually be more careful not to make you pay any amount that involves credits. If you live with a partner, you may transfer all your payable accounts under his name to make it easier for you and for the companies that you deal with — gas, electricity, and telephone companies.
Your employment status may also be at risk by going bankrupt. To be on the safe side, you must check your employment contract for any clause regarding bankruptcy. If you really want to be sure, you can ask the staff welfare officer or the trade union. If you belong in a professional body that prohibits bankruptcy then you must be prepared for your contract to be aborted. Any job that requires you to handle money could be at risk. Those who work in financial industry could even lose their consumer credit licenses once they go bankrupt.
Even after you are discharged from bankruptcy, you will still find it hard to obtain credits. Your credibility in handling financial obligations is obviously destroyed. This is because your record of bankruptcy will remain with credit reference agencies for a period of six years. Your bankruptcy status will also be kept detailed in the Insolvency Register for three months after you have been discharged from it. “The London Gazette” may also publish about your bankruptcy in its classified section or even in your local paper.
While you are on bankruptcy status, it is illegal to:
– Take a credit of more than £500 without your creditor knowing about your status.
– Use another business name to deceive people about your financial state.
– Act as a director of a company without permission.
– Act as an insolvency practitioner.
Bankruptcy restriction orders
Bankruptcy status should be lifted out exactly one year after it has been declared. That is in agreement with the Enterprise Act. Your Official Receiver, however, may petition for a Bankruptcy Restriction Order which can last between two and fifteen years, appearing on a public register, nevertheless. The grounds that may call for this order is your misbehavior and dishonesty in any way. If your Official Receiver feels that you have displayed “unfit” conduct, he can ask the court to issue the Bankruptcy Restriction Order. Breaking the order would mean a criminal offence.
Qualifications of an unfit conduct include:
– Deceiving the Official Receiver about your assets and businesses two years before you went bankrupt.
– Making business transactions at a time when you know that you cannot handle debts.
– Taking out credits you cannot pay.
– Giving away your assets to avoid them from being taken away by the Official Receiver.
– Prioritizing some creditors over the others.
– Failure to cooperate with the Official Receiver.
– Concealing your assets and properties from the Official Receiver.
Being issued a Bankruptcy Restriction Order means that you cannot avail of credit that is more than £500 without letting your lender know about your status. You also cannot hold any significant position like an MP, a local councilor, a director of a company, or an insolvency practitioner until after the order has been lifted.