How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask cfortunato Your Own Question

cfortunato
cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
14232603
Type Your Bankruptcy Law Question Here...
cfortunato is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is considered abandonment when it comes to the Homestead

Resolved Question:

What is considered abandonment when it comes to the Homestead Act in Massachusetts? My in-laws are filing chapter 7 and the trustee is challenging the homestead. They plan on renting the property for a few weeks this summer as a vacation home. Their lawyer says the trustee is just posturing, but of course they are concerned.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 3 years ago.

Hi JACustomer,

1) Have your in-laws filed for Homestead protection for the house separately from the Bankruptcy case?

2) How much equity does the home have? (Equity = current market value minus the balance - if any - of any mortgage(s) on the home.)

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, the homestead was filed pre-bk.

There is about $300-400k in equity. The homestead should protect $500k.

Thanks
Expert:  cfortunato replied 3 years ago.

Then is the trustee challenging the homestead exemption because your in-laws rent out their home for a few weeks in the summer, and that therefore the property is commercial rather than residential?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes, and they receive mail elsewhere. One of the creditors hired a PI to try to prove the house is not their primary residence. It was his ex-business partner and my in-laws used to have a winter home in Naples. They no longer own it, and are divorcing. So they both avoid the family home if they think the other may be there. Basically the trustee is piggy backing the creditors objection. The mail goes elsewhere, they said at the 341 they would rent in the summer to help pay bills, and the day the PI took pics nobody was there.
I assume the summer rental is what is triggering the trustee's objection
Expert:  cfortunato replied 3 years ago.

The primary residence is the place where the debtor was at for 183 days out of the last 365 days. If the debtor was not in any one place for at least 183 days, then the primary residence can be the place where the debtor was for more time than any other place in the past 365 days.

If the trustee can prove to a Bankruptcy judge that the home is not the primary residence for both of them, it will be hard to get the home abandoned.

Some of the ways to prove the length of time spent at the home is with cell phone bills, credit card bills, bank statements, and anything else that can be used to help determine if the debtors were in their home for the requisite amount of time.

Having gone to the house on one or two occasions when they were not there proves nothing, and the same is true for their renting the place for a few weeks, as there is no requirement that a primary residence not be rented out.

 

I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you!

cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience: Bankruptcy professor.
cfortunato and 3 other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3203
    Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3203
    Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TL/tleeders/2012-6-13_204815_TSL1.64x64.jpg Terry L.'s Avatar

    Terry L.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2204
    Better Business Bur 15yrs bankruptcy experience. Chicago Bar
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mnphillips2/2009-03-13_203105_10984459-249293407.jpeg Phillips Esq.'s Avatar

    Phillips Esq.

    Attorney-at-Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    950
    B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/cortrightlaw/2011-12-5_4117_Kevin.64x64.JPG cortrightlaw's Avatar

    cortrightlaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    490
    Attorney practicing Bankruptcy Law including Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Jay1968/2006-12-03_004423_JoeRossPhoto.jpg JoeLawyer's Avatar

    JoeLawyer

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    376
    Attorney in the practice of Bankruptcy Law since 1996
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DY/Dylatess/2012-9-11_1968_BHBTemplePhoto.64x64.jpg dylatess's Avatar

    dylatess

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    370
    35 plus years of experience specializing in bankruptcy law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/US/USLawAnswers/2012-9-20_23143_20090105211638Headshot3b.64x64.jpg Brent Blanchard's Avatar

    Brent Blanchard

    Bankruptcy Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    315
    Twelve years experience in all aspects of debtor & creditor BK.
 
 
 

Related Bankruptcy Law Questions

Chat Now With A Bankruptcy Lawyer
cfortunato
cfortunato
Bankruptcy Lawyer
8023 Satisfied Customers
Bankruptcy professor.