This section is from the book "Real Property, An Introductory Explanation Of The Law Relating To Land", by Alfred F Topham. Also available from Amazon: The New Law Of Property.
If a tenant of land owes debts to other persons, it is of course always in his power to sell whatever interest he has and to pay the debts out of the proceeds.
If, however, the tenant does not wish to sell his land for this purpose, the creditors have power in certain cases to take the lands against the wish of the tenant.
A creditor (a) can only seize the lands of the tenant or require them to be sold, if
(i.) he has sued the tenant for the debt and obtained judgment, or
(ii.) the tenant has become bankrupt, or
(iii.) the tenant dies.
The creditors cannot be deprived of their rights against the land in these three cases. And therefore, if land is conveyed to a tenant with a proviso that it is not to be liable for his debts, the proviso is void.
But the creditors can only seize the interest or estate of the tenant, whatever it may be: thus, if land is conveyed to a tenant until a judgment is given against him, or until he becomes bankrupt, the interest of the tenant ceases immediately the rights of the creditors commence, and they therefore get nothing.
(a) A debt due to the Crown created a charge on the land itself, but mow a writ of judgment must be registered in the Land Registry. See • Williams, R.P., p. 279.
Thus, in a marriage settlement, if the husband is a spendthrift, land is often granted to him "for his life or until he shall become bankrupt, etc." But the husband cannot settle his own lands upon himself in this manner.