father died but went bankrupt two years ago.

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Hi, In September 1997 my dad went bankrupt. He owes quite a bit of money to the Inland Revenue. My mum had nothinf to do with it and could not handle it anymore so she divorced him in May 1999. On the 23rd October 1999, he died in Spain, between Seville and Madrid. He was a haulage contractor and his trailer came off the motorway and dropped 200 feet.

We are still living in the same house but me and my mum are finding it hard to pay for the mortgage. She pays it out of what she gets from the benefits.

Will the Official Receivers Take our home?

How can we get out of this? As it seems so unfair, it is not our fault. Thank you

Sarah Message. sarah_mess@hotmail.com

-- sarah message (sarah_mess@hotmail.com), March 29, 2001


You need a lawyer for this one. If the house was in his sole name, the I am sorry about your Dad, how tragic. I would have thought the OR would have served a Notice of Impending Sale under the Bankruptcy Act by now. Probate takes ages, particularly when there is a bankruptcy to figure into the equation, but unfortunately the Inland Rev has first dibs on any assets your father may have had. If the house was in joint names, and was part of a divorce settlement (ie went to your Mum) you are probably OK. But if this issue was never settled, the house goes into your father's estate and will become part of his assets to be distributed to creditors. Your mother has to prove a debt to even be added to the list; the fact that she divorced him won't altogether remove her from responsibility for "joint" debts (ie any she co-signed or can be held accountable for). You MUST seek legal advice. This is a very complex area of law and I would hate to give you the wrong information. I know this much is right, but how you fight it is beyond my knowledge, sorry!

-- Too scared to say (iwasduped@yahoo.com), March 29, 2001.

Sorry about the fist paragraph - my computer is doing really strange things! I am sure you can figure out what I meant to say in the opening sentences!

-- Too scared to say (iwasduped@yahoo.com), March 29, 2001.

Please be aware that Legal Aid rules change from April 1st, whereby a vast amount of litigation work will not be available under the L/A Scheme - so if you need advice see/speak to someone quickly to ensure the application is put through a.s.a.p. - on an emergency basis if need be (this can be doen via phone by the solicitor).

Best of luck ! Vic

-- Vic Harper (victorcharper@aol.com), March 29, 2001.

Hello, I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

Unfortunately, as you've found out, debts don't go away just because the person has died.

In bankruptcy, any property will usually be sold. If the property is in joint names, then the non-bankrupt party will usually be given the opportunity to buy out the bankrupt one. Where there are children, the Receiver will usually let the family stay in the house until suitable accommodation is found.

Your father was bankrupt for 2 years before his death, and a person is usually discharged after 3, so I would imagine that the Receiver decided there was no reason to sell, because your father had other assets that could be realised.

I would strongly suggest that you see a solicitor for adviceon where you stand. The solicitor dealing with your father's estate administration should be able to help.

However, as its been some time since the bankruptcy and a while since his death, then it seems unlikely that the house will have to be sold, you'd have received some sort of notification of intent by now.

-- pendle (pendle@amun-ra.demon.co.uk), March 29, 2001.

Hello Sarah,

So sorry to read about the tragedy that has happened. I am sending an e-mail direct to you with some info. that might be of help


-- Joy Harker (joytelkomstar@bun.com), April 01, 2001.

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