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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 12172
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I have a personal residence the mtg and my credit card bills

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I have a personal residence the mtg and my credit card bills exceed the value of the home. I also own a rental property worth 300,000.00 more than the mtg balance. Both properties are in my name only. If I add my wife to the deed on the rental and later on file for bankruptcy can I shield the equity in the rental from the credit card companies.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 7 years ago.

Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Well, property held as a tenancy by the entirety can be protected against creditors of just one spouse. Therefore, if the credit cards are in your name only, then you could theoretically shield the property by creating a tenancy by the entirety … BUT there is a law against transferring an asset in order to prevent it from being used to repay creditors. Creating a tenancy by the entirety would certainly fall into that category, and thus, it would likely be considered fraudulent and a judge would reverse the transfer to your wife. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with simply taking precautions by creating a tenancy by the entirety … it’s just that you can’t create one with the specific intent to defraud a creditor. You may want to see a local attorney about creating the tenancy by the entirety, and discuss the possibility that it could be considered a fraudulent transfer.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.

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DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
What is tenency by the entirty mean
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
It's one of the ways that two people can own property concurrently. The three basic ways are as tenants in common, joint tenants, and tenants by the entirety. Only married couples can own property as tenants by the entirety. It basically means that the married couple are viewed as one entity rather than two separate owners. Because they are viewed as just one entity, only a credit of the one entity (i.e. a creditor of both spouses) can go after the property. Other benefits are that one spouse automatically gets the entire property if the other dies (i.e. no need for probate), and that one spouse can't unilaterally sell part of the property. If you'd like to create a tenancy by the entirety, then you should have a local attorney prepare the paperwork so you know its done correctly.

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DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that only an attorney licensed in your state is authorized to advise you in legal matters, and that the limitations of this setting may prevent your legal issues from being thoroughly addressed. Accordingly, please understand that (1) by answering your question(s) I am not acting as your attorney, (2) my answer(s) should be construed as general information only, and (3) our discussion is not an adequate substitute for an in-person consultation with an attorney.

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