Losing your house: Just how much do you know of Going Bankrupt in Perth?

The greatest concern a lot of people have when they come to our company about Going Bankrupt is undoubtedly ‘Can I manage to keep my house?’ and sometimes the truth is yes, you can keep your house.


The only reason you may be driven to sell your family home when you declare bankruptcy is because you have a lot of equity in the house that it is considered an asset. Please go through these simple hypothetical case studies below to get your head around Going Bankrupt and how it impacts houses in Australia. Remember If you want to know more regarding Going Bankrupt and houses feel free to contact us here at Bankruptcy Experts Perth on 1300 795 575, or check out our website: http://www.bankruptcyexpertsPerth.com.au

Case Study 1. (Mike & Sue Smith)

5 years ago Mike and Sue bought a house in a mining town for $450,000. At this time the mining boom was keeping all the property prices nice and high. Now they are needing to look at Going Bankrupt because they have huge debts of $80,000 on top of their mortgage and credit card and tax debt.

They really want to keep their house but wonder if they can, they know that house prices if anything have gone down in the area in the last 5 years so to be safe they think that their home is still only worth $450,000 after all these years, to make sure they searched http://www.realestate.com.au/ sold section of the website to see what other houses in the streets close by have sold for recently.

Unfortunately they have not paid any principal of the home loan over the last 5 years, mainly just interest, so they still owe $450,000.

  • Current House Value = $450,000.
  • Current Mortgage Value = $450,000.
  • Net Equity Value = $0.

Because there is no equity in this property the trustee will not ask Mike and Sue to sell their house when they go bankrupt, as long as they keep up the mortgage payments then all will be well for them for the 3 years they are in bankruptcy.

At the end of the bankruptcy period of time the trustee will write to them and ask if they want to take over ownership of their house again and as long as it has not increased in price over the 3 years they have been bankrupt they will be asked to make an offer to have their house back. This is usually somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000 to cover the legal costs of changing the land title deed etc.

Now let’s look at a slightly different example of Going Bankrupt and houses.

Case Study 2. (Bill & Michelle Johnson)

2 years ago Bill and Michelle purchased a townhouse in a wonderful suburb of Perth for $850,000 they tipped in $50,000 as a deposit and now the townhouse two years later is worth $900,000.

  • Current House Value = $900,000.
  • Current Mortgage Value = $800,000.
  • Net Equity Value = $100,000.

As a result of a recent business problem Bill is about $240,000 in debt. Michelle who works in banking has a separate job and no other debt aside from the mortgage. Bill cannot pay his debts and so he is reviewing Going Bankrupt. Michelle is concerned that she too may need to file for bankruptcy or be pushed into it due to the house loan.

With this particular case the trustee is required to access or get their hands on Bill’s part of the equity which is $50,000 less selling costs. They may do this in a few ways; 1. Have them sell the home. 2. Invite Michelle to buy Bills half of the equity. 3. leave them in the home – but It’s very unlikely in this case that the trustee would be happy to leave Bill and Michelle in the house because there is just too much equity.

So Michelle may have the opportunity to purchase Bill’s share of the equity by coming up with $50,000 and buying out Bills’ half and from that moment its now 100 % Michelle’s house.

Property and Going Bankrupt in Australia is confusing and complicated, these two case studies above are just the tip of the iceberg as far as your options in Perth are concerned. If you need to know more about Going Bankrupt and houses feel free to consult with us here at Bankruptcy Experts Perth on 1300 795 575, or go to our website: http://www.bankruptcyexpertsPerth.com.au