Carrying out bankruptcy searches at HM Land Registry
Carrying out bankruptcy searches at HM Land Registry

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Carrying out bankruptcy searches at HM Land Registry
  • Additional circumstances requiring bankruptcy searches
  • Bankruptcy searches not required
  • Protection given
  • Timing
  • How to search
  • Search results
  • Action required
  • Additional insolvency searches

Land Charges searches are not required for dealings with registered land, but if you are acting for a lender in connection with a charge over an interest in property, whether on the acquisition of the interest or otherwise (eg on a remortgage) and whether the property is registered or unregistered, a bankruptcy search under the Land Charges Act 1972 (LCA 1972) should always be made against:

  1. the borrower

  2. any third party mortgagor (ie where the property to be charged is not or will not be owned by the borrower), and

  3. any guarantor for the borrower

Additional circumstances requiring bankruptcy searches

If title to the property includes a deed of gift or a transfer at an apparent undervalue completed within five years of the proposed charge, any such disposition is at risk of being set aside as a preference if the donor or transferor becomes bankrupt during that period (see Practice Notes: Individual insolvency—preferences and Individuals—reviewable transactions—Property). If this is the case, you should also make bankruptcy searches against the donor or transferor and advise your client as to the risk. Indemnity insurance may be required.

Where there has been such a deed of gift or transaction at an apparent undervalue, UK Finance Mortgage Lenders' Handbook (formerly called the CML Handbook) (the Handbook) states that you must be satisfied that the lender will acquire its interest in

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