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Can I sell commercial building after discharge of Chapter 7?

Saint Louis, MO |

I was ordered to pay $15,000 to the trustee and he would not let me surrender two commercial properties. I told the trustee I did not want the property and he said he didn't want them either? I was discharged on 10/26/2012. I now want to sell one of the buildings. The title company says I can't? How can I sell the property? They said I have a waiting period?

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

Did the trustee formally abandon the property? Is the bankrupcy closed (NOT the same as discharged)? If answer is yes to both, you may sell the property. Check with your attorney.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.

Posted

I have no idea what "waiting period" means in this context. I think the title company incompletely understands the impact of the bankruptcy on your ability to sell estate property. Your attorney can file a motion to abandon the property. With the court order allowing the motion, you will be free to sell it.

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber

Posted

Usually, the trustee with sign the abandonment document without need to file a motion with the court.

Posted

MY colleagues have provided sound advice. Have you explored this issue with your bankruptcy counsel?

** LEGAL DISCLAIMER ** My response above is not legal advice and it does not establish an attoreny-client relationship. When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel. Law Offices of Eric J. Gold www.EGoldLaw.com Telephone: 818-279-2737 Email: service@egoldlaw.con

Posted

You wrote, " I now want to sell one of the buildings. The title company says I can't?"

A: The problem might be that the bankruptcy Trustee must abandon the building, on the record, before you can sell.

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber

Posted

If the trustee did not sign the abandonment papers at the 341 hearing, which is often done here, he probably has not yet done it. Have your attorney send him an email or letter requesting abandonment.

Gary D. Bollinger

Gary D. Bollinger

Posted

Yes, attorney Gruber gave good advice: abandonment of a specific asset should be possible; although frankly, I don't recall ever asking for one. By the way, one of the panel bankruptcy Trustees, Leslie Davis, died last week, that would pose a problem if Leslie was the Asker's bankruptcy Trustee, although a replacement will be named. (Pardon me for sounding maudlin, but, I had one of the last court transactions with the trustee who requested a continuance of a hearing because Leslie could not drive to court... )

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber

Posted

In District of Oregon, it is common to request abandonment at the 341 hearing. Most or all the trustees bring the abandonment form to the hearing with them.

Gary D. Bollinger

Gary D. Bollinger

Posted

Interesting. In Eastern District of MO, where I practice, the bankruptcy Trustees don't use a physical form, but commonly file an electronic report within 3 business days of the hearing.

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber

Posted

I am assuming that the trustee then scans the document in order to file it with the court.

Posted

If the trustee didn't want them, I assume that they're upside down.

You need formal abandonment--and even that isn't always enough. If there are liens, for example, the buyer probably wants them removed.

The good news is that the seller will likely pay for these motions, whether to compel abandonment or to remove a lien. The real estate agent will likely advance the filing fee for an abandonment motion, while there is no filing fee to avoid liens (but there will be recording fees).

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