If a house still jointly in my name after my divorce, what will happen to it if I file for a Chapter 7?

I am divorced but the house my ex-wife and 2 children live in is still 50% in my name (on the deed.) The mortgage is in her name and I am paying child support. With current property values, the market value is probably equivalent to the mortgage balance still owed. If I file for Chapter 7, is this an asset of my bankruptcy estate? What happens? How can I protect it?

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

Mark J. Markus / Mark J. Markus, Law Offices of

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your interest in the property is definitely an asset of your bankruptcy estate, but if there is no equity as you state, then there would be nothing to protect and it is unlikely the Trustee would sell it.  If there is equity, then it depends on what exemptions you have available under applicable law.

Exemptions are "protections" for value you have in certain assets such that they are "exempt" from collections.  Every state has different exemptions amounts available. 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.

Mark J. Markus, Attorney at Law

Handling exclusively bankruptcy law cases in California since 1991.

http://www.bklaw.com/

bankruptcy blog: http://bklaw.com/bankruptcy-blog/

Follow Me on Twitter:  @bklawr

Mark J. Markus / Mark J. Markus, Law Offices of

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your interest in the property is definitely an asset of your bankruptcy estate, but if there is no equity as you state, then there would be nothing to protect and it is unlikely the Trustee would sell it.  If there is equity, then it depends on what exemptions you have available under applicable law.

Exemptions are "protections" for value you have in certain assets such that they are "exempt" from collections.  Every state has different exemptions amounts available. 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.

Mark J. Markus, Attorney at Law

Handling exclusively bankruptcy law cases in California since 1991.

http://www.bklaw.com/

bankruptcy blog: http://bklaw.com/bankruptcy-blog/

Follow Me on Twitter:  @bklawr


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