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Bankruptcy & Houses

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Section Four

Six small steps

It is one thing to talk about the possibility of going into bankruptcy where you have a house and quite another thing to actually take the big step and do it.

So my suggestion, rather than taking one big step into the unknown, instead take a number of smaller steps where you find out a bit more information as you go along.

What I have seen over the years is that people only proceed when they fully understand and are comfortable with the program, which means they can see the expected final outcome.

In practice this means they usually only proceed once they have got to know and gained confidence in the Trustee who will administer the pending bankruptcy.

Small step number 1

Small step number one is to give our office a call or send us an email.

The office phone number is 1300 794 492, please say to the receptionist you have a ‘bankruptcy and houses’ enquiry.

If you prefer to email then that is fine, the email address is [email protected].

In your email please include the following details:

Also please provide details of your income, and the other joint owner’s income (if this is applicable).

And details of the problem debt, credit cards, tax, personal loans, business debt etc.

It helps if you provide a contact telephone number.

Small step number 2

We return your call or email, usually within and hour or two.

A normal conversation might take twenty or thirty minutes.

Our conversation would normally be considered small step number two.

Small step number 3

If your situation sounds like a ‘save the house’ program might be a possibility worth discussing further we would normally suggest you have a conversation with a registered Trustee in bankruptcy.

Quite often we suggest you consider having a conversation with Alan Nicholls.

Your conversation with a Trustee would be small step number three.

Alan is a registered trustee and is the principal of Nicholls & Co, Chartered Accountants.

Steve and I have known Alan for many years.

Alan has written an excellent website that explains, from the Trustee’s perspective, how bankruptcy works.

And Alan outlines how, as Trustee he deals with houses in bankruptcy.

The Nicholls & Co website address is :

The Nicholls & Co front desk phone number is 02 6766 9245.

Nicholls & Co pay for advertising on this website and on the website.

The feedback we regularly hear from people (who most times are just like Pete and Jill) is that Alan is approachable and knows what he is talking about when it comes to bankruptcy situations.

For many years Alan has specialized in situations where a family house is part of a bankruptcy.

It doesn’t matter where you are in Australia, or where your house is.

Alan Nicholls can act as Trustee on any bankruptcy matter in Australia and deal with a house or property in a bankruptcy regardless of location.

Alan has a checklist of things he will want to talk to you about, mainly details of the problem debt and some details of the house, such as location, who the owners of the house are, the current mortgage, whether there are other mortgages or loans attached to the property and whether there are any caveats or liens attached to the property.

He is bound to ask what you think the current valuation might be and whether the mortgages and any other loans attached to the property are up to date or not.

And he may ask you if the Council Rates and Utilities are up to date or not.

It is pretty normal for people to have two or three conversations with Alan over a week or two (or sometimes a month or two).

Some people request a face to face meeting which I think Alan is fine with, however always start with the phone is my suggestion.

Small step number 4

If you then decide to proceed then generally our office prepares the necessary paperwork so you can apply for bankruptcy.

You might like to think of this as your fourth small step.

And our work takes about a week to complete most times.

Small step number 5

The fifth small step is you signing your bankruptcy paperwork and lodging it with your chosen Trustee.

Alan Nicholls can consider acting as your trustee in bankruptcy, you will have needed to have made contact with Alan to discussed your plans for bankruptcy.

The Trustee conversation is between you and Alan.

Small step number 6

If you prefer Alan Nicholls is to be your Trustee then Alan needs to provide written consent on your bankruptcy application and then he will lodge the application on your behalf with the Commonwealth Government (AFSA).

This is the sixth and final small step.

In six small steps you have got there.

It probably has only taken a week or two.

What most people say afterwards that they did not realize it was so straightforward.

In any normal circumstance the Commonwealth Government (AFSA) would accept your bankruptcy application and notify you via post.

At about the same time Alan Nicholls will receive confirmation your bankruptcy has been accepted and verification that he is accepted as Trustee.


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