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Summarizing by Amir Shachmurove

Walters v. Bank of the West (In re Walters)

No. 10-6075 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. June 2, 2011)
Under Iowa law, the debtor was not entitled to the homestead exemption in property acquired months after the creditor obtained its judgment against the debtor. This is true even though the debtor claimed that the property was purchased using funds from the sale of her previous homestead prior to the entry of the judgment, because the bankruptcy court's finding that the debtor never intended to make the previous property, located in Florida, her homestead, was not clearly erroneous. Additionally, the debtor had so comingled the proceeds of the sale of the alleged prior homestead that it could not be determined that the proceeds were used to acquire the debtor's current property.
Procedural context:
Following an evidentiary hearing, the bankruptcy court sustained Bank of the West's objection to the debtor's homestead exemption, claimed in the residence in which the debtor lived at the time of the petition date. The debtor appealed.
Debtor and husband owned a number of residential properties in Iowa and Florida, and lived together at several of the properties. They would improve and sale the properties, and would often live in more than one house at a time. The debtor identified one of the properties in Iowa as her homestead between 1999-2004. In 2002 and 2004, the debtor and her husband executed guarantees in favor of Bank of the West. In 2006, the debtor and her husband sold one of the properties in Florida and received $470,908.98; the debtor claimed this was her homestead at the time. In 2007, the debtor's business transferred one of the properties to Joseph and Deborah Sloan for the admitted purpose of protecting the property from attachment by creditors. In 2008, Bank of the West obtained judgments against the debtor and her husband. Subsequently, the debtor moved into the property previously transferred to the Sloans, which was transferred back to the debtor by quitclaim deed. The debtor filed chapter 7 in 2010, claiming as exempt the property previously transferred to the Sloans and transferred back to the debtor. Bank of West objected to the exemption.
Kressel, Federman, and Venters

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