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Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a way of dealing with debts that you have no realistic prospect of being able to repay. If you go bankrupt, any assets that you have could be used to pay off your debts.

Bankruptcy usually lasts for one year, after which most of your outstanding debts are written off. This is known as discharge from bankruptcy.

An official receiver will be appointed to deal with your case and dispose of any assets you have in order to pay your creditors.

You can retain a car if it is required for work or the basic domestic needs of your family, but if it is of high value you may need to replace it with a cheaper vehicle.

Some assets, such as tools or vehicles necessary for your trade may be exempt, but any other assets, including your home if it has any equity, may need to be sold.

The equity in your home is the value of the property less any loans secured on it. If you are a joint owner then your share of the equity is known as your “beneficial interest”. Once you go bankrupt your beneficial interest transfers to the receiver, but if you have a partner or children there are restrictions on how quickly the property can be sold.

In certain circumstances you may be considered to have a beneficial interest in a property even if you are not named on the mortgage or registered as a joint owner. This is a complex area and requires advice from an insolvency practitioner.


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