Shirley v. Smith (In re Shirley)

Shirley v. Smith (In re Shirley) Case No. 12-6012 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. June 15, 2012)
Under the Iowa Homestead statute, moving over two miles and declaring a new homestead is not a change in the limits of the homestead, and will not serve to extend the old homestead's exemption to the new one.
Procedural context:
Southern District of Iowa Bankruptcy court sustained the trustee's objection to debtor's claim of homestead objection. Appealed to the 8th Circuit B.A.P. De novo review.
Debtor and spouse had declared a homestead exemption in their home. Pursuant to a pending divorce, debtor moved two miles down the road to live with his mother in a home he had purchased from her when she was in financial difficulty. He subsequently declared a new homestead in his mother's home and filed Chapter 7. Debtor argued that his new homestead was merely a change in the metes and bounds of his old homestead, and that the exemption from execution for subsequent debts should be continued into his new homestead. The court found that where the new homestead is over two miles away from the old homestead, it is not a mere change in the metes and bounds, but is the acquisition of a new homestead altogether. Therefore, the homestead protections on the new homestead do not protect it from debts prior to the new homestead declaration under Iowa statute.
Federman, Saladino, Nail

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