Repossession/ Bankruptcy - Will the latter help or hinder the former? : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

My mortgage lender are planning to repossess my house in about ten days time (at least, that's when I'm due to appear in court). I'm in arrears due to redundancy 12 months ago, followed by family illnesses. Because of my freelance/self-employed status I've been unable to get help with the mortgage. Because of all this (there's more, but I'm trying to keep it brief!!)I also find myself in the position where I will have to go bankrupt due to other massive debts. My house only has equity of around #8k, my debts exceed #40k, including around #5k mortgage arrears. Will it help me to go Bankrupt before the court case? Will it hinder my case? Or will it make no difference?

On another point, I've explained to the Building Society that both my wife and daughter are in very bad health. Despite this, they've continued to demand money that they know I don't have! Here's an example of how they work: I briefly moved abroad to work so that I could send money home - Before going away I asked the building society NOT to contact my wife whilst I was away as she was in very poor health. They phoned not once, but *twice* - this resulted in her being admitted to hospital. Will a judge be more sympathetic to my plight than my mortgage lender? If not, I intend to ask the lender if I can sell the property to get a better price (I've read some of the horror stories on your site and would hate to have them chasing me for money years from now!!) What would you think my chances are of getting a repossession order suspended?

Sorry for the lengthy question!

-- John Watters (, May 25, 2000


The court can suspend a possession order where you can show that you can afford to pay the full mortgage and clear the mortgage either in a lump sum or by instalments. The bottom line is that you must show that you can clear the arrears within the remaining term (there is a helpful case called Cheltenham & Gloucester BS v Norgan. Alternatively the court can make a long possession order to give you time to sell where there is sufficient equity in the property to cover all the charges and the costs of sale(56 days mininum, but longer periods, perhaps up to a year, are possible. You will need to convince the court that you are genuinely attempting to sell the property - useful evidence includes a letter from the estate agent and a letter from your solicitor regarding conveyancing. If you have an offer by the date of the hearing, bring documentary evidence if possible but you can always give oral evidence at court.

Going bankrupt won't hinder the possession hearing - secured lenders are entitled to continue with enforcement after bankruptcy to realise their security.

You probably also need advice about rehousing and more about bankruptcy and your other debts. Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for further advice.

-- Sue Edwards (, May 30, 2000.

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