In re Summers 2003 a. Facts: During marriage the Summers acquired property (along with their daughter) with a $10,000 down payment. Title was in joint tenancy. All three eventually filed for bankruptcy separately. Trustee in wife’s bankruptcy case contended that the property was part of the community and therefore became property of the wife’s bankruptcy estate. b. Issue: Must California’s transmutation statute, Cal Fam Code §852(a), be met when realty is transferred from a third party to spouses as joint tenants? c. Holding: No. Transmutation statute does not apply and the property is therefore held in joint tenancy rather than as community property. d. Rule: A deed specifying joint tenancy character of property is sufficient to rebut the community property presumption. e. Analysis: General presumption of community property. The funds themselves were not the subject of an interspousal transaction because they were never transferred from one spouse to the other. More importantly, the source of the funds used to purchase property does not alter the property’s character.
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