Author: Benjamin J. Smith

Is property owned in joint tenancy by a married couple presumed to be community property?

In re Brace Facts: A married couple purchases several residential properties, taking title as joint tenants. One spouse transfers their interest in the properties into a trust, naming the other spouse as the only beneficiary. Later, the spouse who created the trust files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Claim: The bankruptcy estate seeks possession of the couple’s properties, claiming the transfer of interest was fraudulent since marital property is presumed to be community property and one spouse cannot separate out their interest in the properties. Counter claim: The spouse claims the properties are not property of the bankruptcy estate, and...

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Is a commercial tenant’s leasehold interest protected when the property is sold in a bankruptcy trustee’s sale?

In the Matter of Spanish Peaks Holdings II, LLC Facts: A commercial landlord and a tenant enter into a long-term lease. The landlord later files for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy trustee sells the property to a buyer in a bankruptcy trustee’s sale, stating it is free and clear of the tenant’s lease encumbering the property. The bankruptcy trustee does not formally reject the terms of the tenant’s lease. Claim:  The tenant seeks to retain possession of the property, claiming they have a right to do so since federal bankruptcy law protects a tenant’s leasehold interest in a property after a bankruptcy. Counterclaim:...

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Zestimates are great conversation starters with sellers and buyers. Zillow has done more for our bottom line than NAR ever has or will. Don’t fight the current of the river, learn to run with it. Disruption is inevitable in any industry that is fragmented or inefficient. Granted, it does feel like armchair experts and platforms are plentiful in real estate these days, but when the tide rolls out we will see the value proposition of the truest professionals in this industry shine once again.

Justin Bonney, on Zillow’s impact on the real estate industry

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