Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bankruptcy and Trusts Decision

In the recent Massachusetts case of In re Grassa,--- B.R. ----, 2007 WL 756321 (Bkrtcy.D.Mass. 2007) Judge Somma held that the true owner of a house held in trust (and then transfered) was the bankruptcy debtor and trustee of the trust. The result of this will be that the house (which was transfered to the debtor's husband) will be recovered and sold by the trustee. This type of result can be avoided with the aid of legal counsel and careful planning. Real estate trusts and bankruptcy are often a toxic mix. The key in this case was that the debtor as trustee held the right to terminate the trust and transfer the trust asset (the house) to anyone she wanted -- including herself. This is what is known as a general power of appointment. Such a power makes the trust property subject to claims of the trustee's creditors because the trustee is considered the true owner under Massachusetts law.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Cadle Company Denied Debt Collection License in Massachusetts

The Cadle Company, a debt collection company well-known for hardball tactics, was recently denied a license to operate as a debt collection agency in Massachusetts. Cadle sued the Massachusetts Division of Banks in state superior court seeking to overturn the decision to deny it a license, but the superior court took the Division's side citing, among other things, the substantial evidence of complaints and outstanding litigation against Cadle.