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DH is going to claim bankruptcy and I don't know what to do

(21 Posts)
Filibustervigilantly Fri 10-Mar-17 20:29:15

I feel absolutely lost and helpless right now so I am looking for any advice.

DH left a job a few years to become self employed and I financially supported him while he got on his feet. However he started losing money so I then supported him while he looked for a new job. A couple of years later he wanted to leave his new job due to stress and anxiety caused by managers. I knew how much it was affecting him so I advised him to leave to protect his own mental health. Before he left I managed to get him to a doctor who diagnosed depression and prescribed antidepressants.

After a few months of unemployment (it was a real struggle) he got a new job. However he was let go about a month ago. Since then he has shown no sign of looking for new work. I have sent links to jobs I though he might be interested in but they have been ignored. Unknown to me, he got into debt over the years to the extent that he has decided that the only choice is to file for bankruptcy. He seems oddly content with the idea and not at all worried about the affect it will have on our future. For example, I showed concern that it could affect my finances though all accounts are separate, and I was worried that bailiffs may be able to enter our rented property and remove items. He claims that the National Debt Agency told him that this scenario is unlikely. I'm finding it hard to agree with 'unlikely', I just don't want to take the risk. I've also read that our landlord can terminate our lease if he finds out DH is bankrupt.

I love DH but I feel betrayed as I feel that I always have to be the strong one and support him during his many different jobs. He also transferred all bills and direct debits into my account. I had agreed he could do so on a temporary basis but I found out he lied and said that we had joint accounts when in fact they are separate and I find it hard to forgive this as I was happy to talk to the utility providers etc myself. I'm so angry and upset but also so worried about him. I just wish he would try and do something to fix the situation, get a temp job for example (easier said than done, I know, but I managed it when money was tough)

It broke my heart today when he asked permission to do an online food shop from my account. There are so many posts on MN about financially abusive relationships and I feel like I am becoming that type of person because I have had to take over control of any money we have and I hate it.

I'm exhausted and at breaking point. How much am I going to be liable/lose due to his debts? We don't own property or even a car

SookiesSocks Fri 10-Mar-17 20:35:29

You will lose nothing. He goes bankrupt in his name only. But you wont be able to get credit as a couple.

He has shown you he cannot be responsible for money. Some people arent but it does mean you will have to be the financial grown up. Not ideal and it is a huge responsibility.

He needs to get a job and stick to it without you bailing him out. His career whims are screwing up his family.

Filibustervigilantly Fri 10-Mar-17 20:52:36

Thanks Sookie, if we lose our home I don't think I can ever forgive him. I'm trying to stay strong and it wouldn't be so bad if he was at least trying to fix the situation. I feel under so much pressure and that I am sacrificing my dreams to support him.

I don't know how else to get us out of this financial hole. I don't earn enough to support two people. I feel like he needs a kick up the back side but I don't want to push him because of his depression (I also suffer from bad anxiety and depression and the stress of it all is affecting my health and job)

We don't have any sizeable assets but I'm worried that if he defaults on his credit cards (I refused to transfer them into into my name) they can claim anything I own

JoJoSM2 Sat 11-Mar-17 00:26:53

To be honest, I'd be questioning the relationship. People have their ups and downs but your husband has proven over the years that he's irresponsible and a liar.

UncomfortableBadger Sat 11-Mar-17 07:43:52

If he's job hunting, a bankruptcy will mean that he won't be allowed to take certain jobs. Similarly he couldn't set up his own company and be a director.

How much debt are we talking? Three, four or five figures...? Presumably he's looked at other options like a DMP?

prettywhiteguitar Sat 11-Mar-17 07:48:53

Absolutely don't take on any of his debt, leave it to him and I would be reconsidering the relationship. He is not good for you, you need to start thinking about yourself and looking after yourself, he is not working as a team. You are carrying him and you don't have to.

Fairylea Sat 11-Mar-17 07:55:13

For me this would be a dealbreaker. He's not bothered about finding another job and doesn't seem worried about the implications of being in too much debt and going bankrupt. I couldn't trust him again. It would prove to me he wasn't on the same page as me.

My dh has suffered severe depression that has meant he's had to leave jobs and had periods of unemployment, these things happen but he's always been desperately concerned about money and desperate to return to work - even when I could see he wasn't well enough and tried to persuade him otherwise. It's the attitude of your dh that's the problem.

Filibustervigilantly Sat 11-Mar-17 08:39:28

He knows that he will be prevented from taking certain jobs but yet again it doesn't seem to concern him.

The debt is five figures. He has looked into other options but apparently bankruptcy is the best choice hmm

Sadly I think it is a deal breaker. I'm not sure I trust him and I finding it hard to even be in the same room as him as I feel so betrayed

gallicgirl Sat 11-Mar-17 08:46:07

If you are jointly and severally liable for any of those debts, then you need to be aware that his bankruptcy won't make those go away and you will be solely liable.

Maybe it would be a good idea for both of you to meet with a financial advisor to discuss options for the both of you.

tabbymog Sat 11-Mar-17 08:48:47

You urgently need your own financial advice. There's a section in the credit record that agencies hold on you called 'Associated Persons' and if he goes bankrupt, your credit record might be affected. Someone made bankrupt at your address I think could also appear on your record. I'm not an expert on this, get independent financial advice. It might be worth signing up with an agency like Experian for a 30-day trial just to get a copy of your record, but remember to cancel before the trial period is up because you have to give them a direct debit which starts after the trial period.

noimaginationatall Sat 11-Mar-17 08:52:58

Sometimes bankruptcy is the best thing to do and would allow him to start a fresh. Can you go and get financial advice with him? Your assets are yours and are protected. Can you transfer your house into your name only?

FlouncingInAWinterWonderland Sat 11-Mar-17 09:04:33

bankruptcy advice

Filibustervigilantly Sat 11-Mar-17 09:20:38

Thank you for all the advice. I will look into getting advice from a financial advisor.

The debts are all in his name and we don't own any property, but the record of Associated Persons worries me.

He seems to have decided that bankruptcy is the only way forward and is refusing to look into anything else now. I think I now need to protect myself. I'm at the verge of asking for a separation until he can prove to me that he has taken steps to fix this e.g. Applying for jobs.

toastedcrumpets Sat 11-Mar-17 13:10:42

If he has sought advice from a reputable debt charity like National Debtline and they're advising him that bankruptcy is his best option, it is probably correct. It is probably a good idea for you to look at their website (and Stepchange) so you can prepare yourself. I agree with the idea of checking your own credit record, make sure you check all three agencies.

I went bankrupt a few years ago and DH's credit rating was not affected at all. We aren't linked financially in any way (we never had a joint account or mortgage or any other financial products together) so even though we live at the same address we have no connection. DH owns our house and that wasn't at risk as none of it is in my name. I think bankruptcy wouldn't usually affect your current rental, but it might make things difficult to rent another place in the future. It doesn't sound like you would be liable for any of his debts and it's rare for any possessions to be taken in bankruptcy, unless it's something valuable like a car or jewellery.

Bankruptcy is designed as a fresh start and it's not as restrictive as it once was. There are a few jobs which are restricted but they are mostly in finance or law - I knew that wouldn't affect me as I'm never likely to work in those areas and it doesn't sound like your DH has the professional qualifications to be working in those areas either. The restrictions on setting up a company only last for one year until a bankrupt is discharged. I didn't work during the period of bankruptcy (one year) as they take any money above basic living costs to pay back, so getting a job now might not improve the situation if your DH has decided to go bankrupt.
For me it was a huge relief to get the weight of debt off my shoulders and it has allowed me to move on with my life debt-free.

BIWI Sat 11-Mar-17 18:27:46

Why do you need to ask him about separation? You tell him that you're separating, and that he's moving out.

He needs to grow up and learn to stand on his own two feet. It sounds like you've done more than your fair share of supporting him over the last goodness knows how long!

Filibustervigilantly Sat 11-Mar-17 19:14:43

Toasted thank you, it helps to try and see it from the other side. How did your DH take it if you don't mind me asking? I'm struggling to be emotionally supportive.

BIWI I understand what you are saying, and I do think that he has to stand on his own two feet, but if we separate I think our marriage would be over so I'm just trying to consider all options before making that decision. Sadly it's one I never imagined having to make

toastedcrumpets Sat 11-Mar-17 22:18:14

He was fine about it Filibuster, I don't think that I needed much emotional support but he's not the type to get upset. He also knew that the debts were part of my previous life (run up before we got married) and that my financial situation would be different in the future. I think it was important that we both got good specialist advice and we knew where we stood. DH has an excellent credit rating and I would have hated to wreck that, but we did enough research to know it wouldn't be at risk.

Filibustervigilantly Sun 12-Mar-17 19:19:28

I've asked DH to stay with family this week to give us both time to think. He is making excuses not to go. I really need this time on my own because otherwise I think I will snap and order him to leave

toastedcrumpets Sun 12-Mar-17 21:17:01

If he is going to end up renting elsewhere then it is better for him to do it before he files for bankruptcy. It will be hard for him to get a private rental once he's gone bankrupt as they normally run a credit check. Of course he might struggle anyway as his credit is probably poor even without a bankruptcy.

Filibustervigilantly Sun 12-Mar-17 22:32:17

I don't want him to leave for good, I just need a week or so on my own. He won't leave though

loveka Mon 13-Mar-17 11:07:26

Have you looked on money saving expert forums? Have you phoned Stepchange? You need to get advice/ reassurance even though the debt isn't yours.

Bankruptcy isn't as awful as it sounds. Have a search for 'famous bancrupts' and you will be surprised.

The association thing is only if you have financial products together NOT just same address.

My partner is on a DMP ( business debts put on personal credit cards...) and my credit rating has never been impacted in any way, and we have a joint mortgage.

Please try to get some knowledge for you, you will feel better if you understand it.

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