Chicago, IL asked in Real Estate Law and Bankruptcy for Indiana

Q: My husband and I bought a house with my mother. On all the paper work her name is first but it states we are equal owner

She is moving out and said she is filing chapter 7 bankruptcy. Does that mean we will lose the house? What are our options ?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III

A: No, you will not likely lose the house unless it is subject to a mortgage that is in default, and bankruptcy is usually an event of default in mortgages (still the debt could be reaffirmed in the bankruptcy in order to keep the house, depending on several factors, including whose debt it is). But you could end up with a new co-tenant in place of your mother. The order of the names on the deed is not important; it's the nature of the co-ownership that counts, whether as joint tenants with right of survivorship, co-tenants, tenants in common, or what have you. You shouldn't try to buy her out without the advice of counsel, or you could get dragged into a "voidable preference" proceeding in the bankruptcy. You should speak with a bankruptcy lawyer in your area about what to expect and what your best options are.

PS: My comment here are for general information only and are not legal advice about your particular situation nor do they create an attorney-client relationship between us. Consult an attorney in your area for legal advice about your specific circumstances and applicable law.

Doug Allen Bernacchi
Doug Allen Bernacchi
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Michigan City, IN

A: I agree with the answer above or below, but I had this phone call recently and "the home" was 1978 park model with lot rent. The value of the home is all that matters and whether it is financed or has liens. Always use a lawyer with years of experience when you have something to lose. Google Bankruptcy Lawyer Michiana best choice or go

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