Critical Case Comment

By Kevin R. Anderson, Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah

Alvarez v. HSBC Bank USA (In re Alvarez), 733 F.3d 136, (4th Cir. Oct. 23, 2013).

When spouses own real property as tenants by the entirety, the bankruptcy filing of one spouse does not sever the unity of the tenancy, and the interest of the non-filing spouse does not become property of the estate. Therefore, the bankruptcy court is without jurisdiction to modify a lienholder’s rights as to the non-debtor’s interest in the real property.

Case Summary . . .

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