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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I split from my partner three years ago to live in the USA.

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I split from my partner three years ago to live in the USA. he was supposed to pay the mortgage on our house held in joint names. He didn't and I had to step in and am still paying all the mortgage . I also lent him a lot of money for legal fees at the time. I had a charge put on the house to try and recover my outlay from the equity should the house sell. last year we had a deed drawn up giving this share of the house to me. now he has gone bankrupt and the insolvency Service have registered a restriction against the land on MY house! I have a week to try and get it lifted. I need a lawyer to act for me, but which area should that lawyer specialize in.



Can you confirm that the property is still held in joint shares?


Has he shown the declaration of trust to his trustee in bankruptcy/official receiver?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
the deed passed his share of the property to me and as far as I know he has not shown the deed to his trustee in bankruptcy. However the mortgage is still in joint names, although I have been paying it for the last three years since I left. the lawyer that drew up the deed left the firm due to being ill with cancer and apparently did not registrer the deed with the land regsitry which I now know he should have done. At the time the deed was drawn up I did not know what was happening in the background. I am in the USA and he is in Manchester UK so it is difficult to keep tabs an what goes on. Apparently he was made bankrupt by the lawyers that were representing him in a personal injury case - he did not file himself. the deed was drwan up last year and a lawyer I spoke to here said that the insolvency service would say we had had the deed drwn up to escape him having any assets but that is not the case - he owes me a shipload of money!



Firstly you have to establish what the deed actually was. If it was a deed of declaration of trust declaring that all though you are both named on the title to the property you own all the equity on it then it in best practice it would have been registered although this is not a necessity for it to be enforceable.


The deed could have been a Land Registry transfer deed actually transferring the his ownership to you but I doubt this because the mortgage lender's consent would have been required for this and you would have to have demonstrated sufficient income in your sole name to take it on yourself (I note you say it is still in joint names).


The position is that a restriction can be entered against a property that is in joint names in the event of one owner's bankruptcy or personal debt but the other owner's interest in the property is safe so if the property is sold pursuant to a Court Order then you will receive your proportional share of the equity according to your percentage interest.


The Courts have wide powers to set aside transactions that were done for the purpose of defrauding creditors - ie. siphoning off assets - and it is possible that they may claim this in respect of the deed drawn up. It remains to be seen if they will or not, you will have to speak to the trustee in bankruptcy about this and dispute it stating that you were in effect a creditor of his at the time of the deed.


In summary, you've got to get a copy of the deed (write to him or the solicitors if you do not have one) and produce this to the trustee to demonstrate your interest. You must then be pro-active in engaging with the trustee to see that you are kept up to date as to whether they apply for an order for sale or seek to disclaim the deed you executed.


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Kind regards,



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