WA Negotiating with Bankruptcy Trustee to Buy Back Equity

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22 May 2015
Hi, I am wondering if anyone can help with an issue I am having with my bankruptcy trustee. I think I need a solicitor in WA that can advise what rights a joint owner has with regards to not wanting to sell the 50% share he has on the property? The trustee organised a market valuation which came in at $40000 above a market appraisal from a local real estate agent we organised around the same time and due to the discrepancy we would like to negotiate a lower offer to settle the matter. In order to borrow against the mortgage in an effort to obtain enough money to settle the debt, we had to undertake major renovations as the bank valuation had to equal the market valuation.

The problem is that the mortgagee might not even approve the loan needed to pay out the trustee and we are scared that the trustee might sell the house for much less than either valuation if they start legal action to sell the house and the joint owner won't have any right to say that he disagrees with how much it sells for. We think there is still too much work needed to be done to actually sell the house for anywhere near what the valuations came in at and believe they have the right to approve a sale based on a much lower offer at auction. I would like to negotiate a lesser settlement amount based on what the house might actually sell for at auction rather than it's full market value but have been unsuccessful so far. Desperately seeking advice on what option and/or arguments are available to us. I would like to point out that I was discharged from my bankruptcy in March 2013 and the house was not sold during the bankruptcy because of the "lack of equity" at the time. Suddenly, the equity in the property has somehow increased at a rate significantly more than every other property in the suburb I live in.

I feel the system is against us and there is nothing we can do about it. I even feel "conned" into carrying out the repairs because the house does look so much more attractive. Because our mortgage is with a low doc lender our mortgage payments are substantially higher than average and are well above any rental & maintenance costs for a similar house in our area and according to the trustees, that doesn't matter.