Britain's Debt Crisis
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Britain's Debt Crisis - a practical guide to the new bankruptcy laws
by Tom Slator

Description | Book Content | Benefits of Reading "Britain's Debt Crisis" | Publication Data

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It explains what are the warning signs of insolvency and what rights bailiffs do and do not have. (Chapter 1)

It explains in what circumstances someone's property may be repossessed and what steps may be taken to avoid repossession. (Chapter 1)

It explains the formal and informal procedures to deal with personal insolvency and the advantages and disadvantages of each method. (Chapter2)

It explains how long bankruptcy lasts in different circumstances and the conditions and procedures for a bankruptcy to be annulled. (Chapter 2)

It explains how to calculate the equity in your property. This may seem to be a straightforward process but in many circumstances it is not. If someone owns a property and is thinking about bankruptcy this section is absolutely essential reading to decide which is the right insolvency procedure to choose. Knowing the "ins and outs" of valuing the equity can save the property owner thousands of pounds. (Chapter 3)

Chapter 3 on valuing the equity will be of use to anyone who owns a property, particularly if they own a property jointly or own a property with joint occupation. It explains more complex aspects including equitable accounting, notional rent, equity of exoneration and what are "exceptional circumstances".

There are over 10,000 people currently facing the prospect of having their house repossessed because of an earlier bankruptcy, from which they were discharged some years ago. The book explains how such people may avoid repossession and how they may avoid having to pay an excessive amount to do so. This information is essential to anyone in this position. It may help them to pay thousands of pounds less than they would have done otherwise. (Chapter 3)

The Enterprise Act introduced new provisions about bankruptcy but most people, even in Accountants and Solicitors, do not know exactly what they are and how they operate in practice. The book explains the new provisions about duration of bankruptcy (chapter 2), "use it or lose it" (chapter 3) and bankruptcy restriction orders (chapter 7) and how they operate in practice.

It explains what information is available on-line from the Land Registry, the differences between registered and unregistered title, and freehold and leasehold and other forms of tenure. (Chapter 3)

It explains the difference between legal and beneficial title and what happens to a person's property after they have been made bankrupt. It explains the entries made in the registers at the Land Registry and what must be done to remove bankruptcy restrictions. (Chapter 3)

It explains what different types of assets are, how to value them and how they may be treated differently in a bankruptcy. For example a pension policy will be excluded, but a life assurance policy will be included. (Chapter 4)

It explains which assets acquired after a bankruptcy order has been made may be included in the bankruptcy and which will be excluded. (Chapter 4)

Many people who are made bankrupt for the second time before 1 April 2004 are not discharged from bankruptcy, but may not realise that this is the case. The book explains how they can obtain the discharge from bankruptcy and why not doing so may cost them dearly. (Chapter 4)

It explains what property is excluded from a bankruptcy by law and what are the minimal value provisions. (Chapter 4)

It explains how assets held outside the UK may be treated in a bankruptcy. (Chapter 4)

It explains the difference between secured, unsecured, preferential and priority creditors, how each category is treated and how they should be dealt with. (Chapter 5)

Consumer debt in Britain has reached record levels. The total of consumer date including mortgages exceeded £1 trillion for the first time in June 2004 and has continued to climb higher. The book looks at whether this is a good or a bad thing and whether the debt in Britain is higher in relation to other countries. It will have an impact on everyone living in Britain. The book does not provide all the answers but it does contain some relevant facts so that the reader can make up their own mind. (Chapter 5)

It explains how student loans are treated in a bankruptcy and voluntary arrangements and how the position has changed. It also looks at how student loans are administered by The Student Loan Company and at some of the snags that may be encountered by someone repaying their student loan. (Chapter 5)

It explains how different types of matrimonial debts are treated in a bankruptcy and how the position has changed recently. (Chapter 5)

It explains how credit ratings are calculated and how lenders use them. An adverse factor of bankruptcy is that it will affect the person's credit rating. But what will this effect be and for how long? It explains how someone can check their credit score and minimise the impact of bankruptcy on their credit rating. It looks at the rise in the impaired credit market, which will lend to people with a less than perfect credit rating. (Chapter 5)

The book explains how the Insolvency Service calculate how much an income payments agreement should be for and in what circumstances the Insolvency Service will seek to obtain an income payments agreement. This chapter contains information not available anywhere else. (Chapter 6)

It explains what are the pitfalls to someone considering bankruptcy and how to avoid them. Many people are worried that they may commit a bankruptcy offence. They may then be made subject to a bankruptcy restriction order and be made bankrupt for more than a year. The book explains in detail what bankruptcy offences are and why it is unlikely, at the moment, that someone will face a bankruptcy restriction order. (Chapter 7) However this may change in the future. (Chapter 10)

It explains in a simple decision tree the key aspects to finding the right insolvency procedure to use in different circumstances. (Chapter 8)

The book explains in detail the procedure at the court bankruptcy hearing, what questions the judge is likely to ask and what happens afterwards when the person sees the Official Receiver. (Chapter 9)

It explains why the expected fall in interest rates may not happen. This is a key forecast in the book, which is already being played out, and which will have a major impact on the UK housing market and personal solvency. After the London Stock market suffered its worst fall in over a year on 19 October 2005 and had fallen 6.1% in two weeks, the Financial Times commented: "Sentiment in the UK was not helped yesterday by publication of the minutes of the October meeting of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee. The unanimous 9-0 vote in favour of keeping rates unchanged at 4.5% appeared to damp chances of a UK interest rate cut in November". The Financial Times also quoted the UK equity strategist at HSBC: "The UK is being dragged down by what's happening in the US. The market is worried about higher US inflation and further increases in US interest rates." (Chapter 10)

The book looks at how bankruptcy operates in the USA. The laws for the USA are about to get a lot tougher for personal bankrupts and the same could happen in the UK. (Chapter 10)

The book contains fascinating insights into the history of bankruptcy and assesses the likely future changes in bankruptcy legislation. It explains why the law as it affects debtors is likely to get tougher in the future. (Introduction and Chapter 10)

The book is written in an easily understandable way, avoiding the use of legal jargon, and each chapter may be read on its own. Each chapter starts with a quotation from a well-known author or saying, which adds an addition of insight and humour to what may otherwise seem to be a dry and daunting subject.

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