Property Law Keyed to Kurtz
United States v. Craft
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Defendant attached a tax lien to all of Mr. Craft’s property and rights to property, real or personal. The lien attached to a property that Mr. Craft owned with Plaintiff, his wife, as tenants by the entirety. The Crafts then jointly executed a quitclaim deed transferring Mr. Craft’s interest to Plaintiff for a dollar. Plaintiff then tried to sell the property and the IRS agreed to release the lien if half of the proceeds from the sale were held in escrow while the Government’s interest in the property was determined. Plaintiff sued to quiet title to the escrowed money. The trial court granted the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the lien attached when the tenancy by the entirety was terminated and that Defendant was entitled to half of the proceeds. Both parties appealed. The appellate court held that the property was exempt from the lien because a tenant by the entirety does not have a separate interest in the property. On remand, the trial court found that since state law makes tenancies by the entirety exempt from creditors, the conveyance was not fraudulent. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
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