Bankruptcy And The Family Home

Can I Keep My House
With No Equity?

Bob and Sue reside in Western Australia and own their family home. Times have not been great and they have decided to file for bankruptcy. They are terribly stressed over what will happen to their house. In this particular case study, we will look at what actually happens in WA when you declare bankruptcy with a home without any equity in it.

Bob and Sue’s home is presently valued at $700,000 and the mortgage owing to the bank is also $700,000 meaning that they have no equity in their home. So, what will actually happen to Bob and Sue’s house now that they are going to declare bankruptcy?

House Has $30k or more in equity.

House Has $30k or More in Equity

Bob and Sue have made the really difficult decision to file for bankruptcy, the biggest concern is their family home on which they have a mortgage for $670,000. Their house is valued at $700,000 so they have $30,000 equity in the property. So, in Western Australia, what will happen to their home when they apply for bankruptcy? In this case study we can consider the equity as anything above $30,000 so this would be the same scenario as if their equity was $30,000, $100,000, $300,000 or $1,000,000 it does not make any difference the principle is the same.
House Has $30k or more in equity.

House Is Owned By
One Partner
?

There is a general assumption in Western Australia that if a property is owned by one partner in a relationship that is not going bankrupt then the house is safe if the other partner declares bankruptcy. This is not the case and you need to be really careful about this assumption.

In this case study Bob and Sue have been married for 15 years but their house is entirely in Sue’s name. Bob’s name is not on the title or on the mortgage but they have both lived in the property for the whole 15 years they have been together. Bob is needing to declare bankruptcy.

Surrendering the House to the Bank.

Bob and Sue have come to the hard decision to declare bankruptcy and they are considering what to do with the house as they have no equity in it and they simply cannot afford the mortgage any longer.
So, Bob and Sue choose to surrender their home to the bank. The very first thing we at Bankruptcy Experts Rockingham would do for them is get them to sign a legal document which is like a deed of release meaning they have voluntarily surrendered their house.
surrendering the house to bank

Selling the House to a Family Member Prior to Bankruptcy, Is It Legal?

Bob and Sue are coming to the realisation that sometime in the future they will most likely need to file for bankruptcy but they own their family home. Bob and Sue are thinking about possibly selling the house prior to declaring bankruptcy so that they do not lose the money from the sale of the property when they go bankrupt. The question we often get asked here at Bankruptcy Experts Rockingham is whether that is legal to do or are you doing something wrong.
A Question of Caveats

A Question of Caveats

Bob and Sue have owned a property for many years, have worked really hard and have $200,000 equity in their home. Their house is valued at $700,000 and they currently have about $500,000 on their mortgage.

Bob is a builder in WA and has really been struggling since he hurt his back. He owes $150,000 in unpaid accounts to a particular hardware outlet who have been really patient with Bob and are aware of his situation.

A Question of Caveats

Names on House Titles

In WA the name or names on the title of a property are really important in bankruptcy, however, it is not the be all and end all. For instance, some of our clients call and ask if they can alter who is on the title of their property to attempt to protect that property before they go bankrupt. In this case of Bob and Sue, Sue owns the house and needs to go bankrupt and she has some equity in the house. They don’t wish to lose the house so to protect it Bob and Sue decide that Sue should transfer the title to Bob’s name and take her name off of the property.
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Big 5 Questions

– Is Going Bankrupt Right for me?
– Will I lose my job?
– How will my income be affected?
– Can I keep my house or car?
– Will I lose my business or can I still be self-employed?

If you are considering bankruptcy, being able to answer these questions is vital. Then you’ll know exactly what will happen to your business and assets should you choose to file for bankruptcy. Feel free to download our eBook for free and inform yourself today. Or, if your questions are more complex, call us directly on 1300 795 575.

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When The House is in Your Partners Name and They Don’t Need to Go Bankrupt.

Bob is seriously thinking about bankruptcy and believes that he has no choice. He has grave concerns because his wife Sue owns the Rockingham home that they reside in and he is very worried about what will happen to that property should he file for Bankruptcy. In this case study we explore what happens to the property when the house is purely in Sue’s name and Bob’s name is neither on the title nor on the home mortgage.
When The House is in Your Partners Name, and They Don’t Need to go Bankrupt.

When the House Is In Your Name, You Need To Go Bankrupt And Your Partner Has Contributed To The House.

In the following case studies we explore the implications when one partner who owns the property files for bankruptcy. Does the other partner who is not on the title have any claim to keep some of the equity in the property?

Bob owns a Rockingham house worth $700,000 he owes the bank $600,000 and as a result has $100,000 equity in the property. Bob now needs to go bankrupt and he’s really worried about losing his house when he declares bankruptcy, especially considering his partner Sue has actually been contributing financially towards mortgage payments for the last 5 years.

Why would you go bankrupt if you had equity in your house?

Why Would You Go Bankrupt If You Had Equity In Your House?

Bob and Sue have owned their Rockingham home for many years and have actually worked really hard to build up some equity in the property. Their home is currently valued at $700,000 and they owe the bank $600,000 giving them $100,000 equity. In this case study Bob and Sue have a combined debt of $180,000, far greater than the $100,000 equity they have in their home.
Why would you go bankrupt if you had equity in your house?

Can I Sell My House To A Family Member Before I Go Bankrupt ?

This is a question that, on the surface of it, sounds awfully risky, however it is not if you know what you are doing and things are carried out in an appropriate commercial manner.

Let us say Bob and Sue own a property worth $700,000 and they owe $650,000 on the mortgage. They desperately wish to hang on to the Rockingham property as it has some sentimental value and some practical implications as Sue’s grandmother resides in a granny flat out the back and their disabled daughter needs the wheelchair access installed at the property.

But I Have Mortgage Insurance?

Five years earlier when Bob and Sue were wanting to buy a home in WA all they could manage to pull together was a deposit of 5%. When they purchased their house they went to the bank and the bank was fine with the 5% deposit but they had to also pay for mortgage insurance. Bob and Sue were happy to pay the mortgage insurance since they didn’t have the required 20% deposit to eliminate paying mortgage insurance premiums and it meant that they could buy a home sooner.
But I Have Mortgage Insurance?

What If My Partner Wants To Buy My Share of the Property When I go Bankrupt?

Bob needs to declare bankruptcy however his partner Sue does not. They own a Rockingham home together worth $700,000 and they have $100,000 equity in the house. Bob has actually acknowledged that he can no longer afford to contribute to paying the mortgage on the property and is needing to go bankrupt. Sue on the other hand does not want to lose the family home that they have worked so hard to keep.

Bob and Sue need to find out if there is any way when Bob goes bankrupt that Sue can potentially buy out Bob’s interest in the property and keep their home. The answer is yes, maybe. When Bob goes bankrupt Sue can approach the bankruptcy trustee and offer to make a payment of $50,000 for Bob’s half of the equity in the property.

I Have Heard My Property Can Be Tied Up for Eight Years or More When I Go Bankrupt

I Have Heard My Property Can Be Tied Up for Eight Years or More When I Go Bankrupt?

Let us take a look at under what circumstance your house could be tied up for more than the three year minimum bankruptcy period. Let us say that when Bob and Sue went bankrupt they decided that they wished to try and keep their Rockingham house after bankruptcy. At the time they declared bankruptcy the house was worth $700,000 and they still owed the bank the full $700,000.
I Have Heard My Property Can Be Tied Up for Eight Years or More When I Go Bankrupt

What If I Can Not Keep Paying the Mortgage Halfway Through My Bankruptcy ?

Bob and Sue went bankrupt eighteen months ago with no equity in their family home. They had decided they would attempt to keep the property so that at the end of the 3 years they had somewhere to live. However, after a year Bob lost his job due to illness and Sue then got retrenched from her work. This meant that they no longer had any capacity to continue to pay the mortgage. In this case it is quite simple, Bob and Sue contact the trustee and the bank and let them know that they can no longer afford to make the payments on the mortgage and that they will be moving out.

What If I Decide to Hand the House Back to the Bank When I Go Bankrupt, How Long Do I Have Before I Am Required to Leave?

Bob and Sue have struck a few financial hurdles and have decided to declare bankruptcy. They cannot afford to keep up the mortgage payments and so have decided to walk away from their family house. The question is, once bankrupt how long have Bob and Sue got before they will be required to vacate the property?
Bankruptcy Experts - Case Study -  What if i decide to hand the house back to the bank when i go bankrupt, how long do i have before i need to leave?

Surely I Can Keep
The Family Home
If I Go Bankrupt?

Bob and Sue have finally faced the reality of going bankrupt and they, like a lot of people facing bankruptcy, are thinking surely we won’t lose our family home, we need to live somewhere.

Unfortunately in lots of bankruptcy situations, as we have seen in these case studies, keeping your home is not an easy process. Many times it is just not possible. Keeping your home in bankruptcy is all about the money, it is not about the nostalgic value, emotional value or your own specific circumstances it is an extremely cut and dry process. When you are bankrupt if there is equity in your property the equity needs to be realised so creditors get paid some or all of what you owe them. That is how bankruptcy operates in Western Australia, no matter what your circumstances, if you have a home that you have equity in then it is under threat when you declare bankruptcy.

What If My House Was Purchased With an Inheritance?

Bob and Sue have been residing in their Rockingham family house for five years and about two years ago Sue inherited a large sum of money from her Aunty June. Bob and Sue decided to put the inheritance money into their mortgage to help them pay off their home.

The question is, if Sue puts her inheritance money toward their property, is that money safe if Bob and Sue decide they have to file for bankruptcy? In WA the answer to that question is no, it is not safe at all.

What if i purchase my house

I Bought a House With Compensation Money, Is That Money Safe If I Go Bankrupt?

Bob and Sue have been residing in their family home for several years. About five years ago Bob had a major accident at work, he received a big compensation payout from his employer which he put into the house mortgage. The question is, if Bob makes a decision to apply for bankruptcy is that compensation money safe or will he lose it?
I bought a house with Compensation Money is it safe If I go bankrupt?

Will I Still Have to Pay Rates, Insurance and Body Corp If I Go Bankrupt?

Bob and Sue are filing for bankruptcy and have come to the heart-breaking decision to leave their Rockingham property as they have no equity in it. They are going to hand it back to the bank however the question is will they still be liable to pay the rates and insurance after they hand the house back.

On the day they apply for bankruptcy Bob and Sue will no longer continue to be the owners of their home. The bankruptcy trustee will usually remove Bob and Sue’s names from the title and put the trustee’s name in their place, then the house is just handed back to the bank. Even if Bob and Sue had outstanding rates of $8,000 owing at the time of bankruptcy they will now not have to pay them and any unpaid household debts will not affect them handing the house back to the bank.