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DH and I are facing bancruptcy, I am so scared of our future.

18 replies

nothingleft · 20/06/2008 12:55

I have name changed because it's so hard to write all this.

DH and ex split a while ago, he has 2 dc from the previous marriage. I am 6 months+ pregnant and due to a move between countries not working.

A bit of background:

He's always been a high earner. After a while he split from ex wife. She got the house and maintenance payments. He agreed to pay both their debt off so everyone could start anew. So far so good. Shortly after that he was hit by a huge tax bill which was nearly half a year's basic salary. He started paying it off in bits. Then the City was shaken by the crisis and he lost his job. He got the offer of a temp 3 months contract on another continent. I gave up my job and we moved. I already knew I was pregnant. My parents helped us out as much as they could (both retired). His father (retired) lives abroad and doesn't care.

In his current job they kept saying there might be a full contract at the end of it. A week ago they said there won't be. We have to move back to UK. Our credit crs are maxed, he's got a 200k debt looming over him. He's a silent guarantor for his ex's house and there's no money for the kids.

No one will hire me now. My parents can offer us accomodation in their country but that's it. And dh doesn't speak the lingo, he won't find a job there.

I could cry and tear my hair out but I'm trying to keep it all together. We are under enormous stress. Neither of us can sleep or rest. What will happen to his dc, my step kids? His ex? He'll bring them down, too. We'll have to file for bancruptcy...

Anyone got experience with this? I'm so scared. I don't know what to do. He can't borrow more against their previous house. It's all maxed out. Please, can anyone advise?

OP posts:
LadyMuck · 20/06/2008 13:02

Has he been to see anyone about his debts ie before he move last time? He will have to rejig maintenace while he is not working (no different from the fact that his chidlren would feel the squeeze if they were all still together.

Presumably he is networking like mad to see what work there might be when he gets back?

What is the £200k debt from?

nothingleft · 20/06/2008 13:10

Both his ex and him remortgaged against the house before they split, to have some works done to it. It took months to push it through council and was canxed when they separated. He then promised her to take over her debt, a new car, etc. He then ran effectively 2 homes when they separated and he moved out.

It tears me apart to see him like this. He is calling everyone he knows but all have their own worries. He's networking like mad but there's just nothing there. He's looking beyond his industry, but even taking a paycut gives him no chance.

OP posts:
MrsTittleMouse · 20/06/2008 13:19

I'm not an expert, but I think that you need impartial advice about whether you really do need to go bankrupt. If you do, it isn't the end of the world. I know that it's easy for me to say, but you'll still have each other and your baby, and then you will be able to start afresh without all the debt hanging over you.
The CAB will have debt counsellors, or you can get advice from The Fool website.

VeniVidiVickiQV · 20/06/2008 13:23

Get in contact with an accountant asap and see about sorting out an IVA, or to see about bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy, although there is stigma attached, once actually gone through reduces a hell of a lot of stress.

it's going to be hard for you both but clearly you are both capable earners and workers and the work will come through eventually.

Move in with your parents (is there ANY chance you could move in with exW for a while or is it just not possible?)

There are new and upcoming businesses in the city - what does your DH do?

arfishy · 20/06/2008 13:31

I'm sorry you're going through this, I know from experience how difficult it is for men financially after divorce (DP lost everything at 40).

In the short term you need cash don't you? Can your DP look internationally? Short term contracts for a specialist skill will pay well. You may need to be apart but you (he) can earn a lot overseas, especially if you have good tax advice.

Are you able to negotiate with the tax office over the amount owing? If you go bankrupt they won't get a penny, so it might be worth talking to them to reduce the immediate pressure on you.

Are there things you can sell? I moved overseas and left everything behind and having lived without my "stuff" for a year or so made me very clear on what is important and what isn't.

I'm sorry you are going through this now, especially when you are pg. You will work it out, especially if you take advice - try to be pro-active, it's always better, even if it's hard.

lou031205 · 20/06/2008 13:56

Hi, I have been through this, and am out the other side. is a great site for bankruptcy advice.

nothingleft · 20/06/2008 16:41

We are already in East Asia now, desperately scrambling around to find any job which should be fine as it's a growth region but difficult because of visa, lots of competition and no growth in the trading sector there. Markets are quiet and most big names (Funds, etc) are lying low.

Going back to my parents will be last resort but am totally prepared to do it. Ex wife has said no as new BF is not having it. Can understand. We've sold everything we can sell: cars, etc. I do't own jewellery apart from my wedding ring. I could bash myself for giving up my job. Hindsight is a great thing.

Thank you for the links. I will look them up. Have already showed DH the thread and we will see a lawyer and accountant.

I really appreciate your help and thoughts.

OP posts:
nothingleft · 20/06/2008 16:46

He's a trader, sales. City is laying them off by the dozen.

Tax office has already been negotiated to monthly payments, but we can't pay anything at all at the mom. It's just hanging there.

We took on ex's car as she couldn't pay it anymore (Rangie she got shortly after they separated, it costs 1100,-/mth leasing it, add tax, fuel, parking and insurance and you've got a 2000,- car a month). To give it back it'll cost us £ 10.000 to break the 3 year lease.

OP posts:
LadyMuck · 20/06/2008 16:56

Well the primary issue is lack of income. So he needs to look at how he can start earning, either through retraining, looking in different sectors, goign sdelf-employed etc. Regardless of whether or not he goes bankrupt or indeed how he sorts out his current position, long-term he will still need to find emplyment.

If he is working in the city then he needs to take serious advice before going bankrupt, as it may affect his future job prospects there rather drastically. The CAB will be able to point him in the direction of suitable help, most likely a solicitor.

In terms of sorting out the debt position then the first step is making a note of all assets and liabilities (sole and joint). Also have a look at income and expenditure. If his £200k debt is a mortgage then the implications may be that the family home has to be sold (and it sounds as if there is little or no equity). He needs to renegotiate his maintenance in terms of what he now earns and also take into account his new family once the baby is born.

The CAB will help to break down the process into managable steps. The Money Advice Trust run the National Debt Helpline and on their site you will also find some budgeting tools. These are basically the industry norm within debt management so it is worth having a look at them.

LadyMuck · 20/06/2008 17:02

Paying £10,000 in order to get out of a £24k per year car contract still seems like a no-brainer. You could buy a brand new car outright for the remaining £14k, or more sensibly a 2nd hand car for under £4k. Frankly you could probably travel by taxi for less than the £2k a month being paid.

And in term fo the £10k payment - was the lease formally assigned to him, or is it still in his wife's name? If so then the £10k could be her problem.

I suspect that with issues of this ilk actually your dh doesn't need to go bankrupt. But he and his ex will need to have some proper advice.

Doobydoo · 20/06/2008 17:08

I have no advicewish i did.But think that your partners exes bf shouldn't be so precious about it!I know that isn't helpful but i am shocked at that tbh.
Really hope you get sorted and there seems to be some great practical advice on here.

VeniVidiVickiQV · 20/06/2008 21:13

Ah. Bugger. Yes, traders are suffering more than most atm.

I hear that a swiss bank is looking though....???

arfishy · 21/06/2008 07:38

Can you try to get somebody else to take over the lease? Can you talk to the lease company to see if anybody else is looking for a Range Rover?

Can your DH act as a consultant or adviser? How is he applying for jobs? I find (I'm a contractor) that advertised jobs rarely materialise - you have to get your CV offered directly into companies to find a fit, or get the job before it hits the agencies. It's hard to get agencies to talk to you but if you've got good skills and you get 'in' then they will sell you direct.

ilovemydog · 21/06/2008 10:08

Am sure you've already checked this out, but when he left his original job, did he have any redundancy cover or insurance policies for loss of employment?

It's a long shot, but I've just discovered that I have an existing policy for redundancy which I wasn't aware of....

Lastly, when did you stop working for your employer? Depending on how pregnant you are the moment and how long you worked for your employer, you may qualify for maternity benefit/allowance. Not very much....

fymandbean · 21/06/2008 10:31

Sorry to say this but he needs to stop paying right now anything to his old family - he is just robbing peter to pay paul. A range rover ffs??? the reality right now is that he cannot pay anything! You need to go to the CAB to get the debts sorted - the range rover I am sure can go back with low (negotiated) terms - but you need this negotiated for you. Forget the accountant/ lawyer - you need free advice. Make sure child support are aware of his circumstances.

Sorry but I would avoid bankruptcy if you can as it will follow you for the next 6 years - no credit etc etc. He'd be better off trying to negotiate terms rather than going bankrupt as everyone will lose then

higgle · 30/06/2008 23:44

No matter how bleak it looks now things will be alright in the end. 12 years ago my business failed, we lost our house, I lost my career, we had to move to a smaller house. But once I was bankrupt and found another job I was free and now, slowly but surely I'm almost back where we atarted from. If you go bankrupt its paiful but it is a fresh start, the other options involve paying most of your income for years on end - and you'll still have a tarnished credit rating.

Twinklemegan · 30/06/2008 23:52

I'm not sure I've understood the circumstances completely. Is your DH still paying the mortgage on his & ex's old home? Or is the £200k debt unsecured? I agree with fymandbean that your DH's primary responsibility right now is to you and your new baby. If he continues struggling to pay his ex then he's going to make things worse for everyone in the long run. Hopefully his ex will have started to sort things out for herself by now?

expatinscotland · 01/07/2008 00:02

I'm sorry you're going through this. I don't know the legalities of bankrupcy in the UK, but I had a bankrupcy in the US. Didn't have as much debt as didn't have any assets, either, or kids.

But I can understand how stressful it is.

It's terrible, but I'm here to say, it's NOT the end of the world! Even if it comes to pass that bankrupcy is truly the best option for you, I can promise you no matter what you'll feel a lot of relief after it's finally over, a sort of big exhale that it's behind you now and you can move on.

I hope things work out for you both and you can avoid any of this.

But if that doesn't happen, please don't beat yourself up about it and feel like a big failure.

This can happen to anyone.

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