Can an administrator of an estate file for bankruptcy? 28 Answers as of April 01, 2013

I have been appointed administrator over my mother estates and she owes the bank $125000 for two loans and the property and land and two cars and a house trailer or the collateral. Can I file a chapter 13 or 7?

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Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
You need to talk to a good probate lawyer and bankruptcy lawyer. I can provide some referrals. I need more facts to make a good response. Generally speaking, an estate does not need to file bankruptcy because all debts can be handled through the probate process.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/1/2013
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
You need to know what you are doing. No, you cannot.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/4/2013
Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
It's not your debt so you don't have to file bankruptcy. If estate doesn't have asets they don't get paid.
Answer Applies to: Delaware
Replied: 2/28/2013
DOUGLAS A. TULL, P.C.
DOUGLAS A. TULL, P.C. | Douglas A. Tull
No. At least the estate can't. If you are insolvent, you are insolvent - and should make an effort to close the estate. Remember, though, that in Michigan, Creditors rights come after certain allowances for claims that have priority - such as administrative including legal and accounting, funeral and burial expenses and certain "allowances" as well as taxes. So if you have an attorney assisting you - consult with him or her to set the proper course of action.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/28/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You can file bankruptcy for you personally. I do not know why you would want to file bankruptcy of the estate. As administrator you are not responsible for the bills of the estate. You are only responsible to gather up and sell assets and then pay creditors if you can.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/27/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    As the personal representative you can call the creditors and negotiate the balance due. Many creditors are open to negotiate balances owed. Sending them an inventory also will show the creditors what is in the estate and will show that the estate may be close to insolvency.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    If you are in Georgia, I suggest you sit down with an attorney to review this matter to consider all of the options. As the administrator of the estate, unless you have done something you should not have done, you are not personally responsible for the debts of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    You can work it out with all the creditors by giving the property that is secured to the creditor. Sell those items that?are unsecured and pay a percentage to each unsecured creditor.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    No. The estate can't file bankruptcy. If the liabilities exceed the assets, divide up the personal property (anything that isn't land or vehicles) and walk away. The creditors will foreclose on the land and repossess the vehicles.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Huddleston Law Group, LPA | C L Huddleston
    This is not a bankruptcy matter. Assuming the assets in the estate are less than the debts, you have what is known as an "insolvent estate." Such estates are more complex than regular estates, and you should not try doing this without expert counsel. The good news is that the Executor or Administrator gets paid a "commission" before the creditors, at least 2% of the first $100,000 and 1% of everything else, but the court can approve more. Sometimes a good attorney can negotiate settlements with the creditors so that, after paying the Administrator, lawyer, costs, taxes and creditors there are some assets remaining. You need an expert probate attorney to represent you in doing this.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It is not necessary. The estate settles according to the probate statutes. You should seek counsel from a probate lawyer (the attorney fees will come out of the estate prior to any debts). Do NOT pay any creditors until you have consulted with a lawyer. Paying creditors out of the statutory order of priority potentially subjects the personal representative to personal liability.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    No. You are dealing with an insolvent estate. Administrative expenses will be given priority as will any taxes owed. The secured creditors will likely receive any secured assets left over after payment of the administrative expenses and taxes. Unsecured creditors creditor(s) will only receive partial payment on their claims. There will, however, be nothing left for beneficiaries.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    Are you wanting to file for bankruptcy because of the bills your mother's estate owes or because of bills you owe? You, as the executor, are not personally responsible for your mother's bills. The creditors can only come after her estate (I'm assuming you were not joint on the loans with her). If it is your bills you are filing bankruptcy over, and the court is requiring you to have a bond to serve as executor, you may have issues qualifying for a bond. You really should speak with your probate attorney who can advise you on how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
    Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
    It is not necessary if the estate is insolvent. You can petition the court to abandon property or the bank will take it as collateral.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    You don't have to file for bankruptcy. What you could probably do is liquidate the assets and hope that there will be sufficient funds to pay off the loan and the real estate taxes on the property and any other tax lien of record. These would be priority creditors and in fact, you would have to have satisfied these claims to pass title to the purchasers of the realty. Other priority creditors would be the funeral director and the attorney for the estate. If there is any balance left that is sufficient to pay the other creditors completely you can do that. If not, then you can offer to pay them pro rata , per creditor or some other method. If they don't agree you can bring a petition to the Orphans' Court to approve your proposal. After distribution to the creditors occurs you will have to file an iheritance tax return for the estate and upon approval of the Commonwealth, distribute anything that might be left.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Lampton Law Firm LLC | Norman Lampton
    A probate estate cannot file bankruptcy but a person who is declared incompetent can. This site is not a substitute for competent legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    I don't think so, as an estate is not a legal person, meaning a natural person, a corporation, an government entity such as a city or local established district. Advise you to check with a bankruptcy attorney who specializes in this area of the law. And lastly, you are the executor of the estate, and you would have to petition the probate court for authority to file bankruptcy on behalf of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    No. What happens is that if the estate is insolvent, the assets are paid out in certain rankings, something like this: funeral expenses expenses of last illness legal/administrative expenses secured creditors (those with mortgages) unsecured creditors.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Scott Polsky
    Scott Polsky | Scott Polsky
    No. It's an insolvent estate. You should talk to an attorney. Most or all of those debts may be forgiven if you file properly.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    No, you can't file bankruptcy for an estate. The executor can either sell off all of the assets and pay off as much of the debts as possible or allow the lending agency to recover all of the property that it holds as collateral. If there isn't enough money in the estate to pay all of the debts, check with the statutes in the state the deceased resided at the time of her death to determine who gets paid and in what order. The executor then notifies the remaining creditors that they won't be repaid.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Are you asking whether you can file bankruptcy for yourself or if you can file bankruptcy for the estate as the administrator? The estate cannot file bankruptcy. If you are to inherit the listed property, then the debts of her estate need to be paid based on who files a creditor's claim in probate, and any funds remaining would be then paid to heirs. If the creditors claims meet or exceed the value of the assets, then there would be no funds to pay heirs. If you receive an inheritance and are thinking of filing you own bankruptcy, you would have to be able to exempt any inheritance you are to receive or the trustee in a Chapter 7 can use it to pay creditors, or in a Chapter 13 you would have to pay creditors as much as they would receive if it were a Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    No, you cannot file personally and impact any obligations of the estate. To determine the estate's rights you should immediately visit with an attorney specializing in estate administration.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    You must determine whether it is an insolvent estate If it is, you handle it in the Probate Court You probably need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    I suppose you could file a 7. A chapter 13 doesn't make sense because there is no wage earner; she is dead. If there are liens on the property, then they will recover the collateral. That is of course if the property is worth less than the security interest. If the property is worth more, sell it and pay off the debts. By administering the estate, you are effectively doing what would happen in bankruptcy anyway.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    No, the Estate cannot petition for relief under chapter 7 or 13. However, the Estate can handle the debt issues in the administration of the estate. You should seek counsel from an attorney who is experienced in upside down estates. This type of estate is common place today.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    No. Estates cannot file for bankruptcy. There are methods of dealing with creditors in probate, outside of bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally a bankruptcy is not available in this situation. The normal procedure would be for administrator or personal representative of the estate to sell all of the assets, and pay the creditors to the extent possible. Once the assets of the state have been totally liquidated paid out, the estate itself becomes insolvent and uncollectible. Clearly you do not quite understand your situation and therefore should seek counsel. Please call my offices, or another attorney of your choice, with details and for an appointment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/27/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    The estate cannot not file for bankruptcy. The proper process is to have an insolvency hearing, where you present the estate's assets and financial obligations and ask the court to declare the estate insolvent. You will need to notify the creditors of the hearing so that they may testify.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/27/2013
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