Could we potentially lose the house if my mom has run into some financial trouble and wants to file a Chapter 7? 19 Answers as of September 17, 2014

The house is in my name and hers. The house is paid for.

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
That depends on the value of the house and if you or she or both of you reside in the house. It you live in it and it is within the homestead amount then it would be safe.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/17/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
The part of the house which is in your name won't be subject to her creditors in the bankruptcy (unless they have already filed liens on it). However, if the creditors (through the bankruptcy trustee) have the right to seize your mother's half of the house, then they could force the sale of the house and you'd only get your share of the proceeds. An important issue (at least in Ohio) is whether your mother lives in the house. Ohio has a $132,000 homestead exemption, meaning your mother equity is protected up to that $132,000 amount. For example: if the house is worth $400,000 and there is a $150,000 mortgage Your share and your mother's share are each worth $125,000 ($400,000 less $150,000 = $250,000 times 1/2 = $125,000). If your mother lives in the house, then she gets the $132,000 homestead exemption and has no funds at risk. If she doesn't live in the house, then there is no homestead exemption and her whole $125,000 is at risk and you better be planning on moving.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/17/2014
Meister & McCracken Law Firm, PLLC | Joanne M. McCracken
It depends on the value of the house. She has a certain amount of home equity that can be exempt. She needs to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney and you would be well advised to go with her so that you understand the options and consequences of bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Arkansas
Replied: 9/17/2014
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor | Susan G. Taylor
I doubt it. But avail yourself of an attorney's free consultation to be surethere are MANY homestead issues in bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/16/2014
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
Whether the house is protected from sale or not depends on the equity. Calculate the equity by the fair market value minus any secured debt. Since it is paid for you won't have a loan to deduct but there are still property taxes, any other liens and the cost of sale (you may also be able to deduct half the value of it depending on how title is held). Compare the figure you come up with to the amount of applicable exemptions. See CCP section 704.730. The exemption amount ranges from $75,000 to $175,000 depending on your mom's situation. If the house is covered by the exemptions then the Trustee can't sell it.* If there is money to be made bankruptcy is likely not the best option. * Better yet BEFORE SHE FILES go and see a local knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney who can advise you. This is too important of an issue to go blindly forward.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Depends on the value of the house but if she is half owner, then she is entitled to the homestead exemption on her half of $150,000. So if it is not worth more then $300,000 then it should be safe in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Tokarska Law Center
    Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
    Possibly, so under no circumstances should she file a chapter 7 bankruptcy without the assistance of an attorney. I can't answer your question with anything more than "possibly" because pertinent facts are missing. So please be sure to get a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. When you consult a bankruptcy attorney we perform some important tasks in reviewing the potential case for possible issues. Besides determining whether the potential debtor qualifies for a discharge based on the Means Test calculations we also perform an asset exemption analysis to determine if all of the property of the debtor is exempt. Non-exempt property can be taken by the Trustee so one of the first questions I always ask is what property the potential client owns and compare it to available exemptions (there are several possible options here depending on category and value of the property and in the case of real estate - age & income of debtor could be a factor as well). If I see that there exists non-exempt property then I explain this and unless the person is okay with turning over that property to the Trustee (very rarely is that the best option) we discuss and compare other alternatives such as credit consolidation, settlement, ways of increasing income, doing nothing, and chapter 13 bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    D.J. Rausa, Attorney at Law | D.J. Rausa
    Yes, you could potential place your home at risk. You need to consult with an attorney, and get an appraisal on the house to establish it's fair market value.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Anything is possible. Possible is not probable, but to give you a more specific answer I would need to know whether your mother lives in the house with you and what amount of equity is in the property. You may want to go with your mother when she consults with a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Yes, that is potentially a problem. You need to look at the homestead exemption available to her and the value of the house. She should not file without competent counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    I would need a lot more information to answer the question. Most attorneys will charge a nominal sum for advice. Pay for the advice. You don't want to make a mistake here.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    You need to contact a local bankruptcy attorney directly and discuss with him/her. It is impossible to predict what will happen without additional information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    If the house is more valuable than her exemption(she would have half interest) then she would either have to make payments to the trustee for the excess value or they could sell the house. She should make an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney to look at her options. Many of us do the first appointment free.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    If there is equity in the house, it may not be totally exempted. This is a complicated matter; hire a bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    You probably will lose the house if you file Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes. Talk to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Yes, the paid for house is an asset of her estate and the equity in it, less a limited exemption, is subject to her creditor's claims.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Stittleburg Law Office
    Stittleburg Law Office | Bernd Stittleburg
    Yes! I would not recommend her filing bankruptcy. She would put her interest in the house at risk.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/16/2014
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk
    Law Office of Andrew Oostdyk | Andrew Oostdyk
    In Texas, a homestead may be listed as exempt property and therefore retained by the Debtor. There are exceptions, such as having the property for less than for years. Be sure to consult a Bankruptcy attorney before filling to ensure that you do not risk losing the property.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/16/2014
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