Q: What happens if one of 3 owners on a manufactured home title in CA files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
My husband, mother and I are all joint owners on a manufactured home in CA. We bought it together to all live in after my father passed away. There is no mortgage as we paid cash. My mom has since moved out and has not paid for the land lease, property taxes or any other things related to the home. I have just found out she filed chapter 7 bankruptcy and of course didnt tell me. What will happen now? Are we at risk for losing our home? Her filing hasn't been completed yet.
A: Your question raises several issues. First and most important, you should personally set up a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney (not the one that may be representing mother in her case). You need separate advice regarding your interest in the property as well as any impact mother's bankruptcy has on you and your brother personally (specifically any debt related to the property). As of the filing date of the bankruptcy, the property became part of the bankruptcy case (referred to as a bankruptcy estate). The Chapter 7 Trustee assigned to the case is in control of all assets that mother has, including her interest in the property. Issues that need to be looked into are: how title is held; fair market value of the property; exemption claimed against the house. Any attorney you meet with should be one that practices primarily or only bankruptcy law; and look for a certified specialist. You didn't mention when the case was filed. urge you to look into this soon as possible.
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A: To get a good answer for this question, you need a complete set of the documents that have been filed in that case along with a copy of the deed or title to the property and take that to an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area.
If she didn't live in the property at the time of filing, she can't use the California Homestead exemption, but still have the California Bankruptcy exemptions. That will allow her to claim her 1/3 ownership as exempt up to a $30,825, depending on what else she may have claimed as exempt.
If she didn't disclose that property intentionally, it could be at even more risk.
Get the documents and the title and get an answer before you hear from the trustee!
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