Can I file for bankrupcy if I co-own a house that my sister still lives in without losing the house? 17 Answers as of June 15, 2011

My sister and I co-own a house that she lives in. She will not buy me out at a fair market price. If I file for bankruptcy what happens to the house, can she still live there?

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Ellahie & Farooqui LLP
Ellahie & Farooqui LLP | Javed Ellahie
You can co-own but the issues is what is YOUR equity in the home and whether the amount of equity exceeds the exemption amount allowed under your State law. If it does , there is no issue but if there is equity the trustee can obtain by selling the house, paying your sister her 1/2 then the trustee can ask the court to make such an Order . Your sister has the right to oppose it and if she is able to convince the court that selling the entire home will be an undue hardship on her, she may prevail.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/15/2011
Financial Relief Law Center
Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
As long as the payments are being made on the property it will not be lost through the bankruptcy. She will remain on the loan, you will be removed, and she can remain in the property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/15/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
The answer is - it depends! It really depends on how much the home is worth, your interest in the home, liens mortgages and other encumbrances involved, if any, and what bankruptcy exemption is available to you where and when you file. The devil is in the details.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/15/2011
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
There are several factors that come into play after a bankruptcy is filed to determine whether property is retained by the debtor and any co-owners. It depends mainly on whether the property is claimed exempt. Assuming the property has little or no equity it probably can be retained. This is a complicated issue and you should seek the advice of an attorney who is a certified specialist in bankruptcy law. consult the State Bar for a listing of those attorneys in your area.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/15/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
Yes. She will then be responsible for the full price. This is assuming no equity in the house. If there's equity, the trustee could either sell or your sister could pay the trustee the value s/he thinks would be obtained by a sale. The creditor may mark her credit report showing the house as bankrupt, but they're not allowed to do that so you should tell her to check her credit report after you file and to make them correct that notation.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/15/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Yes, if you continue to make the mortgage payments you can keep the house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You can file, but if you have equity you can't exempt - the trustee may want to sell it. You need to see a competent lawyer to determine how much equity you have and what your exemption rights are in it. If you can't exempt your interest, the trustee would probably give your sister the first opportunity to buy your Interest. That money would be used to pay your creditors. See a lawyer before you do anything.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    If your sister pays the mortgage on the home the mortgage company will not foreclose. If you have equity and do not use your exemptions, then your sister will have to deal with the Bankruptcy Trustee and may have to pay the Trustee some value to keep the home.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    It depends on how much equity you have in the property. You will only be able to protect a certain dollar value in your bankruptcy. If your share of the home exceeds that amount, the court could sell the house in order to obtain your equity in the house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Saedi Law Group
    Saedi Law Group | Lorena Saedi
    That depends. If there is equity in the house that is unprotected by your bankruptcy exemptions on your half of the home the bankruptcy trustee could force a sale of the property. Your sister would then be required to "buy" back the equity that you were over in the case. You would need to check with a bankruptcy attorney in your area to review what exemptions are available to you and if your entire share of the home would be protected.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    It depends on whether there is equity in the house, and if there is, is there an exemption in your state sufficient in amount to protect your equity.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    That depends on what chapter you file, the amount of equity in the house, the value of your other assets, and what exemptions you have available under applicable state law. Exemption laws are based on the state where you resided for the 2 years prior to filing your bankruptcy case or, if you lived in more than 1 state during that period, in the state where you resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to that 2 year period. You need to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in your area for more details.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Whether your sister can keep the house will depend on whether the house has any equity. If there is no equity you sister can continue to make the full mortgage payment and retain the home. If there is a substantial amount of equity in the home and you don't use exemptions to protect the home, the trustee may sell the home and pay your sister her share of the equity proceeds.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    It depends upon the loan. If it is your name alone, then it is possible to lose the home. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    You and your sister can continue to own and keep the house so long as the mortgage payments are current. If you have equity in the house you must be able to exempt your equity. Otherwise, the trustee can sell the house to pay your creditors with your share of the unexempt equity. Your sister would get her share of the proceeds of the sale and your share will go to the trustee less the amount you were able to exempt (which will be paid to you). If you do have equity, make sure you consult with a lawyer before filing a bankruptcy case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    As long as she continues to pay for it and house has no unprotected equity that a bankruptcy trustee would seek to liquidate for benefit of your creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Your question lacks sufficient information to answer. If you file, she MAY lose the house, depending on many details such as the amount of equity, the payment status, the lender, and your finances. And she may not. You have not given enough financial information. See a lawyer with all your numbers.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
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