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Court Locations

6500 Cherrywood Ln - Greenbelt, MD 20770 - Main Tel: 301-344-8018 map
101 W Lombard St Room 8530 - Baltimore, MD 21201 - Main Tel: 410-962-2688

Leonard Paul Raskin, a married man, filed for bankruptcy individually and sought to use 11 U.S.C. §522(f) and the recently enacted Maryland homestead exemption to avoid a joint lien on real property owned with his wife as tenants by the entirety. The lienholder objected and argued that since only the Debtor’s interest in the real property was before the Court, the Court could neither avoid the lien in part nor entirely as this would allow the Debtor to unilaterally destroy the unity of interest that is the hallmark of the tenancy by the entireties estate. The Court held that the Maryland homestead exemption and Section 522(f) act in concert to create an exception to the common law prohibition against the unilateral alteration of rights in the entireties estate such that the Debtor could have the lien avoided. However, the Court agreed that the homestead exemption does not extend to the avoidance of the lien as to the wife’s interest in the property and the result was limited to allowing only the Debtor to avoid the lien to the extent it impaired his exemption as to his interest.

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Robert A. Gordon