Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Property Searches

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  • Property Searches

    I have not filed yet, but I am seriously considering it. I have been doing some research and have a question.

    Years ago, as part of estate planning, my parents decided to protect their home from probate by conveying it to me. The deed grants them a "life estate interest in the premises" that I am obligated to warrant and defend, but there are no other limitations on me. I understand that my future interests in their property (well, I suppose technically, my property) will be counted as an asset.

    My question is, how could the court/trustee/creditors know that I have a future interest in my parent's home in another State unless I tell them? Is there some national database for deeds or tax records?

  • #2
    You need to disclose, disclose, disclose.

    You also need to have a serious talk with your Estate planning attorney and a qualified bankruptcy; even better if the attorney does both. I do not know all the legal ramifications of doing it wrong, and I don't want to even appear that I know what I'm talking about. You need qualified assistance from a really well qualified attorney or attorneys that practice in this area.

    Not to scare you, but there was a recent case in California that came to mind where the Trustee, in a Chapter 7, was allowed to keep a case open until, well, his 80-year old stepmother died. Grotesque, right? The case has been open since 2009. (See In re Mrozik, No. 08-12533 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. Apr. 18, 2014))

    (I can't move this thread into the main forum area. I just realized it's in INACTIVE Users!)
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


    • #3
      Originally posted by justbroke View Post
      You need to disclose, disclose, disclose.

      That's worth repeating:

      Disclose, Disclose, Disclose!

      And as jb states - find the correct legal and financial representation.
      All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
      Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......


      • #4
        My question is, how could the court/trustee/creditors know that I have a future interest in my parent's home in another State unless I tell them? Is there some national database for deeds or tax records?
        OP posted on another forum. It was in the context of how to value OP's interest in property that is subject to a life estate not how to potentially hide it. OP was contemplating a 13 which is probably the way to go. Certainly the interest MUST be disclosed. Failure to disclose and getting caught will have far greater consequences.

        As to valuation, I am reposting my response from the other forum . . . .

        The question IS NOT what the home is worth today.

        The question, for Chapter 7 reconciliation purposes, becomes. . . "What would John Doe pay today for the right to use and own the property in the future?"

        The answer, I presume, would be based upon some actuarial table that takes into account your parents' age, current health and life expectancy. It would also take into account that both must pass before you will have fee title without restriction.

        I am sure there is some way to value the "asset". Maybe try an accountant or find a company that actually sells future interest rights.



        • #5
          You can find information on how to calculate the current value of a remainder interest at You will want to use the last to die factors. There's a link to a publication that gives examples on how to make the calculation.

          Definitely don't try to hide the property. A Chapter 13 is a much better option than risking having all of your debts be forever non-dischargeable because of the failure to disclose an asset on your petition.
          LadyInTheRed is in the black!
          Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
          $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


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