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The Bankruptcy Service Case Study Example: Bankruptcy & Joint Mortgages

The following bankruptcy case study is a fictitious example, designed to help you understand working situations where bankruptcy is and isn't appropriate.


A look at liability for a joint mortgage with an ex-partner. The bankruptcy rules may not fall in your favour.


Hello, I hope you can help me. My boyfriend split up with his previous girlfriend many years ago. They had a joint mortgage, and he has continued to make payments towards that even after the split. Unfortunately, we have recently discovered that his ex has been made bankrupt, and had her house repossessed. Now my boyfriend is being chased for £10,000, for money due on the mortgage. The demand for money was the first we knew about the bankruptcy. Is this fair? How can he be responsible for another person’s debts so many years down the line? Is my boyfriend liable?


Unfortunately, because your boyfriend’s name is on the mortgage still, he thus has a joint liability on making mortgage repayments. By declaring bankruptcy, his ex-girlfriend’s liability ends, lumping the onus on him. An awkward side-effect of bankruptcy is that it can transform joint debts into single debts.
I would suggest seeking expert, impartial advice immediately, especially if these are payments you would struggle to make.



Free debt counselling and advice is also available from the Money Advice Service available at: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

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