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John Knox
John Knox, Solicitor
Category: UK Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 1155
Experience:  solicitor with 8 years experience
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Hi John, I am considering bankruptcy in NZ for a student

Customer Question

Hi John,

I am considering bankruptcy in NZ for a student loan debt.

In a previous post you mention that there is a reciprocal treaty with the UK and only a slim but never the less possible chance of them coming after UK assets. Would joint owning all assets with my partner e.g. house/business mitigate this.

Equally if all assets were in the name of my partner, would this make it impossible for them to seize anything?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  John Knox replied 4 years ago.

I will do my best to help you with this.

Please note that if you are thinking of transferring assets to your partner as a safeguard, that will not assist you in any way. The reason being that if the trustee in bankruptcy did try to come after you in the UK, he could effectively 'turn back the clock' and pursue assets transferred at any time over the last five years, in circumstances where they were gifted or transferred at an under value.

So, please be in no doubt, any transfer to joint ownership or sole ownership by your partner will not assist you.

To be safe, you would have to sell all assets at market value and then take out the cash and gift it to your partner/other family members!

Best wishes
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi John,


Thanks for that.


I have a house and business over here in the UK. Do I need to declare these when filing for bankruptcy over there.


Is going bankrupt in NZ from over here a relatively safe option or is it likely that they will attempt to come after me over here and enforce a court order to seize my assets?

Expert:  John Knox replied 4 years ago.
You should declare them but it is your call in terms of risk. If you do declare them, there is a chance (albeit small) that the trustee may come after them. If you do not declare them, the trustee could put some work in and discover your assets. Again, he could then pursue them.

My view is that you may be better divesting yourself now of your assets (by transfer etc) and then waiting for 5 years before you declare bankruptcy in NZ. That way, you would be certain the trustee could not pursue you or your former assets in the UK.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Doing this, if I wanted to move back to NZ eventually and buy a house, again in my partners name would i need to wait 5 years, i.e go home as an undischarged bankrupt with no assets all of which were transferred 5 years past to my partner and my partner buys the new house in NZ.... or,


do I need to wait 8 years, the five years before declaring bankruptcy and then 3 more years until discharge before returning home and buying a house?

Expert:  John Knox replied 4 years ago.
It would be 8 years if you want to go back and buy the house in your name or jointly but if your partner is buying the house, you could go and do that after 5 years. Then, once you are discharged, your partner can transfer the house into your joint names. So, minimum 5 years before you buy in NZ I would say.