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House sale - liability for charges on register?

(7 Posts)
Cretaceous Wed 13-Jul-11 10:43:48

I was tentatively thinking of buying a house that's now going to auction. I notice it has a mortgage and an equitable charge against it, but I don't know their values. It's not a repossession or anything.

What if these charges come to more than the value realised at the sale? If I bought the house, would I also then be responsible if the debts weren't cleared by the sale?

Thank you for your help!

prh47bridge Wed 13-Jul-11 11:16:08

No. You are not buying the debts. The current owner will remain responsible for any debts if they are not cleared by the sale.

Cretaceous Wed 13-Jul-11 11:57:58

Thank you. I was worried I wouldn't be able to remove the charge from the property. I'll look into this house further. I really like it, but the owner has a bit of a reputation locally, so I'm naturally a bit suspicious!

Cretaceous Wed 13-Jul-11 12:51:19

I'm getting more confused now. There are various glossaries online, for example at

They say: "A charge against a property means that there is a debt. ... Before buying, a conveyancer should check against the Land Registry’s Charges Register for all charges, as the new owner will be liable if they are not discharged prior to sale."

Does this just mean that the solicitor must make sure the charge is taken off the Land Registry Register of Title before completion, not that the debt follows the property?

(When I sold my home in Feb, I discovered the solicitor I'd used when bought it had made an expensive error, so I'm a bit paranoid!)

prh47bridge Wed 13-Jul-11 13:11:17

Your solicitor needs to ensure that all charges are removed before the property becomes yours. If they are not the debt will follow the property.

prh47bridge Wed 13-Jul-11 13:13:23

In essence this is about making sure that the lender gets paid when you buy the property. If they get their slice from the sale of the property, even if it doesn't fully cover the debt, they should remove the charge.

Cretaceous Wed 13-Jul-11 13:21:47

That's great. Thank you very much.

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