Sexually Transmitted Debt: Surety Experience and English Law

Sexually Transmitted Debt: Surety Experience and English Law

Sexually Transmitted Debt: Surety Experience and English Law

Sexually Transmitted Debt: Surety Experience and English Law

Synopsis

This book is the first major study of an increasingly evident legal and social problem: spouses and partners (particularly wives) who provide third party loan security for the business liabilities of their other spouse or partner. Unlike other texts in this field, Fehlberg specifically considers the legal rules which apply to surety wives in England, with reference to other Commonwealth jurisdictions, particularly Canada and Australia. The law is then considered in the context of sociological literature relevant to surety experience. The particular uniqueness of this book is that legal and sociological literature are then tested against empirical research involving interviews with sureties, and other main parties involved in surety transactions. Significantly the latter underlines the discrepancy between the 'public' legal perspective on providing security and 'private' complex experiences and motivations which pertain within intimate relationships. Given this situation, the author considers various legal reforms which could improve the position of sureties, but emphasises that the ultimate solution for sureties involves more fundamental social change.

Excerpt

This is a book about money and marriage. In particular Dr Fehlberg explores the nature of financial and family relationships, a topic that has assumed increased importance in recent years in which a period of recession was preceded by a period of prosperity and a time of strong governmental encouragement for business and entrepreneurial activity. Belinda Fehlberg's study analyses the law and practice relating to surety wives and partners, that is, those who agree to charge their interests in property to enable their spouses to raise money for business purposes. Dr Fehlberg seeks in her work to go beyond the case law and to get behind the distorting picture which an analysis of case law alone would present of the circumstances in which sureties provide security. Instead she analyses the position in the context of, and from the perspectives of, the participants usually involved in the transaction: lenders, debtors, and lawyers. The formal law is thereby placed in a qualitative sociological context, and the author's empirical research explores the social and legal issues which arise in these circumstances.

Dr Fehlberg teaches us about the dynamics of financial decision-making in families, and by presenting empirical evidence about the financial relations between women and their husbands she helps us understand better how relationships affect concepts of choice. Her analysis probes into the shifting and difficult borderland in legal life between conceptions of public and private represented here by the interplay between the private world of intimate relationships and the public world of commercial contracts.

Keith Hawkins . . .

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