Family and joint debts

Unless clear lines are drawn, you may be unsure as to who is responsible for the payment of each portion of outstanding debt. Bennett Jones can explain what your rights are and the amount you owe under the terms of your debt agreements.

You can share an obligation to make payments such as utility bills, mortgages, rental contracts and shared bank accounts. In some cases, you will be liable for only half of the amount owed under the terms of these contracts – with your partner, spouse or relative being responsible for the payment of his or her share.

More commonly, however, you will be responsible for payment of the whole amount which is owed – even though you have agreed with the other party that the debt will be repaid in equal shares by both of you. This means that if your partner, spouse or relative fails to honour their side of the agreement, you will find yourself being called on to repay the full amount of the outstanding debt.

Why might such agreements prove problematic?

There’s no guarantee that everything will run as smoothly as was expected when the original joint debt was incurred. When family relationships or marriages break down, it is not uncommon for an individual to find they are called on to repay debts which they firmly believed would be repaid equally by them and their partner, spouse or relative. It is not uncommon for one of the parties in an agreement to be unable to or to refuse to, pay his or her share of the outstanding debts. This can often result in debts becoming unmanageable.

In some instances, the death of a partner or spouse can sadly also result in the surviving partner being called on to repay outstanding debts which then become unaffordable.

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Why choose Bennett Jones?

Bennett Jones has helped thousands of people solve their debt problems. We understand how stressful and difficult life is when you can’t pay your debts and your bills.

You can trust Bennett Jones to help you if you are struggling to pay your debts. We specialise in Individual Voluntary Arrangements – a legal solution that allows for unaffordable debts to be written off. With an IVA from our team, you will make affordable repayments to your creditors over a fixed period, with the remaining debt written off at the end.

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is not suitable for everyone who needs help with their debts. If an IVA is not right for you we will give you free no obligation help so you can decide on the solution you need.

Bennett Jones Team

Get help with Joint Debts from Bennett Jones

We’ll help you understand the terms of all your financial agreements and help you move forward, clearly understanding your financial position and the options available to you. Our team are always on hand to offer information that can help you deal with debt – even if you’re on benefits. Contact us on 0161 9600054. Otherwise, leave us a message on the Bennett Jones contact form to request a callback.

Bennett Jones’ role in your financial recovery

Bennett Jones can investigate what you’re spending, both personally and if you are self-employed in your business, and help you understand whether an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is the solution you need. Whether you need an IVA, an alternative debt solution, or simply information to help you organise your spending, we can deliver some peace of mind.