Discussions on life after your bankruptcy discharge.

Moderators: TalbotWoods, JaneClack

By knotme
#318723 Hi. This may not be the correct/best part of the site but the problem I have IS "After Bankruptcy" so on the face of it it seems appropriate.

My former partner was made bankrupt but is now discharged. The home is now subject to a Repossession Order.

The problem is that I still have personal possessions in the house. My ex won't communicate with me in any way. I have asked the Insolvency Practitioner for access to the house when it is vacated (under supervision if need-be) to retrieve any of my belongings that may still be there and he has refused. I have asked for an explanation as to why he intends (on taking possession of the house) to effectively confiscate MY belongings which have never formed part of the bankrupt's estate. So far he has refused to give a reason.

I know I could complain about his professional or ethical conduct to his regulating body, but they cannot overturn his decision (though perhaps they could advise him). That would likely take some time though.

I don't know of any legislation that allows him to retain goods that are not part of the house and don't/never did, belong to the bankrupt. Can anyone shed any light on why he has refused or what legislation he may rely on to allow him to act like this?

If I were to take court action to gain entry, what legislation would I rely on?

As a footnote, I hold a beneficial interest in the property and have agreed a figure representing my share of the property.

Can anyone offer advice on the way forward? Taking legal action should always be the last resort, but as I'm skint myself, unless I do at least some of it myself, it may be outside my financial reach.

Thanks for reading
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By TalbotWoods
#318733 He cant it is as simple as that.

Up to the time repossession takes place, he has no legal entitlement or legal right to grant you access, only your ex partner can. That is the law.

After repossession, again he cant, as the property will legally belong to the mortgage company (or if being repossessed as an owned asset, by the Official Receiver) where you can only gain access by court order, or maybe just maybe the good will of the mortgage company. Again that is the law.

As for the possessions in the property you will need to prove ownership, by receipts ect. As they are still there, they HAVE NOT been claimed as an asset in the bankruptcy, so when your ex partner leaves they will either take them, or they will be skipped, as items left in the repossessed house belong to the organisation repossession the property, and NOT the IP, or the people from whom the property is reposed from.

If your ex partner chooses to take your possessions to their new property, then there will be nothing left in the repossessed property for you anyway, so who will you ask to gain access to their new property then?

As for giving you reason, the IP nor the OR are not legally required to, you are not the bankrupt nor are you a claiming creditor, and the law is clear, if you are neither, then under Data Protection you are not entitled to know the reasons. Further you cannot demand reasons from them under freedom of information as this is classed as legally privileged information.

I am sorry but you are in a no win situation here unless your ex partner gives you access. There are no grounds for complaint, and there is no legal action you can take to force this issue with either the IP, the OR or the Mortgage Company.

I would also be wary of the agreed figure for the Beneficial Interest, as if you think it will be sold at market value you may be in for a shock, nearly all repossessed properties are sold at auction for a fraction of what they are worth.

I do appreciate that this is NOT what you wanted to hear, but bankruptcy is never nice and it can be especially unfair when domestic disputes are involved, and as this stands this appears to be a purely domestic dispute issue.
By knotme
#318743 Thanks for the response. Not to pick bones, but you mentioned 'my wife' which suggests you assume I am a 'he' (wrong).

There isn't a mortgage on the property so the goodwill of the mortgagee isn't relevant.

As for not complaining, I think refusing to explain why I cannot have my property back is grounds. As I say, they have never formed part of the bankrupt's estate.

Yes, my ex may take my stuff with him, but just to be awkward when I catch up with him, my guess is he will claim they were left in the house when he left.

Without sight of the inside, I cannot prove that they weren't left in the house and skipped by clearance workers. If I can prove they weren't left in the house, then he must have binned them.

Are you saying that because my ex refused to return my stuff when I asked, that I can't get them back? I understand that the repossessed house effectively belongs to the creditors, but don't understand how things that are not part of the house and are not owned by the bankrupt also belong to the creditors.

One scenario that might me make the point/understand the situation. Lets say he ran a car repair shop as a sole trader and my car was in for repairs when he applied for bankruptcy. Are you saying that I couldn't get my car back, (but I understand he could get some of his tools back as they are exempt as he needs them to earn a living?)

Are you saying there is NO way for me to get my belongings back. He won't give them back and I grew tired of asking ages ago.
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By TalbotWoods
#318753 Apologises for the "wife bit" I though I had changed them all to Partner my mistake.

Yes I am saying this is purely a domestic issue.

If the OR or IP claimed an item as a asset in bankruptcy (except the property) that item will have been removed by now.

All items not claimed as an asset are now deemed to be the responsibility of the property holder, and neither the OR or the IP has any legal control over them.

Once the property is repossessed the property will become a Crown Property, that is property owned by the government and only legally authorised people will be granted access.

In reality an estate agent will be appointed to sell it at auction, and if you can find out who the property is being auctioned with they 'may' give you access, but beleive me if they think for even one minute that you have any legal connection with the property, they wont let you anywhere near the property as there are legal implications, which could have very serious issues!

I am saying as the property is under the legal control of the person who currently has possession of the property, then your issue is with them, and them alone. The law is clear on this matter.

As it is you do not know what possessions of your are left there, for all you know they have already been disposed off, as you have not had access for some time and even gave up asking ages ago.

So yes I am saying there is NO way for you to get you belongings back, by the routes you are trying here. The fact you didn't take you possessions at the time of your split, or didn't seek legal redress to obtain them back then, legally means you have no legal claim now.

The only option you may have it to apply to the courts to try and get them back, and this would purely be a case between you and him, and with out de facto proof of ownership of the items, there would be no claim to answer.
By knotme
#318763 thanks for your efforts in trying to explain what seems a weird situation - that innocent people caught up in a situation caused by irresponsible actions get hurt.

Can you point me to the relevant parts of the legislation so I might try to get my head round this?

Incidentally, the bit about the car is appropriate. He ran a car repair business from a small workshop he owned as a sole trader. I guess that has gone as well. I know he was looking after a classic car for someone who went to work abroad (USA I think) for a couple of years. Because he didn't want to sell it or transport it out, he asked my ex to look after it, and my ex kept it in the workshop. He said it looked good when customers came in for quotes as he had done some body repairs to it. I suppose that's gone as well, so who will benefit from that 'confiscation' as it won't be skipped will it lol?

My ex will probably wait until an hour before the eviction order takes effect before he leaves, just to be awkward, and he'll probably trash the place before he goes.

In terms of taking it up with him directly, I'm not totally sure how much, if any time he spends in the house. He doesn't open the door, changed his phone number, and doesn't respond to any correspondence, so discussing anything in a civil, adult manner proved impossible some time ago.
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By TalbotWoods
#318983 I'm sorry but we cannot help any further as this is purely a domestic issue, and the advice we offer on this forum is debt related.

Consequently we can only suggest that you seek the advice from a solicitor that specialise in Domestic Disputes.

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