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JP, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 109
Experience:  Represented creditors and individuals in bankruptcy and consumer matters.
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Can a bankruptcy trustee come after my assets for my exhusbands

Customer Question

Can a bankruptcy trustee come after my assets for my exhusbands bankruptcy? I was divorced at the time he filed but the decree was not signed until after.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  JP replied 9 years ago.

It is possible for the bankruptcy trustee to come after assets that were in your ex-husbands name or belonged to your ex-husband when the bankruptcy case was filed.


When a bankruptcy case is filed all of the assets become property of the bankruptcy estate and must be handled or transferred through the bankruptcy or with the permission of the trustee and/or bankruptcy court.


It appears that the bankruptcy trustee is taking the position that because the divorce decree was not signed until after the bankruptcy case was filed, that the property belonged to your husband at the time of filing and as a result became a part of the bankrutpcy estate. If you want to dispute the trustee's position, you will have to do so in the bankruptcy court or contact the bankruptcy trustee to inform him of the situation. The trustee may be willing to leave the assets alone after he hears your side of the story without the need to litigate the matter in bankruptcy court, but you should act quickly. Bankruptcy is federal court and a federal court order will take precedence over any state court divorce order if the bankruptcy judge feels that the property belonged to your ex-husband on the date the bankruptcy case was filed.


You should contact the trustee immediately and attempt to resolve the matter without the need for litigation, because that will save you both time and money.


I hope you found this information helpful.


Best Regards

Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Is there any case law out there protecting me of this?

I have asked the trustee for a statute or anything that states that i am liable for his debt.

i have dug and dug and can't find anything. The feds just blow me off.

Expert:  JP replied 9 years ago.



Regarding the Debt issue raised in your reply: Although the property may have been divided by court order during the divorce proceedings and some items were given to each of you. If you signed for any of the items or appear on any of the contracts, then you may be held contractually liable for the debts, even if your husband was held responsible for them in the divorce decree. Your contractual obligations remain, but you will have the ability to take your huusband to court to repay you for any debt that he was ordered to pay in the divorce proceedings that was not discharged in his bankruptcy case. If your ex-husband's debt is discharged in a bankruptcy case and you have a contractual obligation for the debt (you signed for it) you are still responsible for that debt. Unfortunately, I don't have any case law for you in your State, because I do not practice law in your State, but you may be able to get research assistance at the local law library in your area if you do not wan to retain an attorney.


However, as for the property issue, that was raised in your original question, you can start with Bankruptcy Code Section 541 (11 USC Section 541) which deals with property of the estate. This section clearly defines what property becomes property of the bankruptcy estate and otherwise a subject of the bankruptcy case.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  JP replied 9 years ago.

You're very welcome.


If you decide to get an attorney to help you with this matter, I would suggest hiring a bankruptcy attorney or at least an attorney familiar with bankruptcy concepts and licensed to practice in the federal district/bankruptcy court. (not every attorney is federally licensed.)