Thanks for your question.
If there is a mortgage on the property then you will need a solicitor to act on your behalf. The lender will not allow you to do this on your own and will require a licensed conveyancer or solicitor to act on your own behalf in order to ensure that there charge (ie. Mortgage is repaid).
If the property is to be transferred in to your sole name then you will have to demonstrate sufficient finance to a lender in order to receive a mortgage offer in your sole name. If you cannot get a mortgage in your sole name then you will not be able to transfer the equity and will be forced to sell.
It is important to note that if he goes bankrupt then the creditors/trustee in bankruptcy will only be able to claim against his interest in the property, your interest is protected which means that you will receive the same amount that you would have received if you and your co-owner agreed to the sell the property and realise the equity.
If he goes bankrupt and you get a mortgage offer then you will be able to make an offer to the trustee in bankruptcy for his share of the equity in the property so you could then transfer the equity/mortgage in to your sole name . It may be preferable for you if he were to go bankrupt.
If you carry out a transfer of equity prior to his going bankrupt then you must ensure that he is paid at market value rate for his share of the equity otherise the creditors/trustee in bankruptcy could seek to set aside the transaction as it is a transfer at an undervalue. They could also claim their costs for doing so
Your first port of call should be a mortgage offer and engaging the co-owner in an attempt to decide what you are both going to do
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