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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I am declaring bankruptcy in the US, and am concerned that

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I am declaring bankruptcy in the US, and am concerned that my wife's assets (which are currently held in a joint bank account) might be subject to seizure should my creditors pursue the matter here. This is money she had from the sale of her flat, and though it's held in the joint account it is her money. What does the law say with regard to ownership of joint assets in such a case?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 5 years ago.
In what state in the US would you be filing the bankruptcy case?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Filing in California. I just received the first of what may be several summons for lawsuits stemming from unpaid mortgages on Florida real estate.

Thanks for your help!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
By the way, I am an Australian resident since Feb 08 and the bank accounts I refer to are Australian accounts.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 5 years ago.
How long have you lived in California?

Do you have any assets here in the states?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I lived in California for 10 years, roughly...I relocated to Australia early last year (my wife is Australian) but continue to pursue work opportunities in the USA. I have no assets in the USA at this time, but did move some of my previous earnings to Australia over the last 12 months. That money was invested in a business venture - a restaurant - which is currently operating at a loss. The business was opened in Dec 08.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 5 years ago.

The presumption is that the money left in a joint account is 50% yours and 50% is hers. However this is a rebuttable presumption.


You have to list the joint account in Schedule B and then claim zero as your interest. Just make sure that you clearly state on the description of the assets how the funds belong to your spouse only and be prepared to show the documentation regarding the sale of the flat to the bankruptcy trustee if he or she requests it.


If you do not have any assets in the US at this time, you might not be able to file for bankruptcy protection in the US. In order to be eligible to file for US bankruptcy relief, you must be domiciled in the US, or have property in the US, or have a place of business in the US.

Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 13070
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.