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In re Mortensen
United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Alaska
2011 WL 5025249
Sporadic employment and a contentious divorce left Thomas Mortensen (debtor) financially struggling. During the divorce, Mortensen received land worth $60,000 that he and his ex-wife had jointly owned. To keep the land in his family, Mortensen created an asset-protection trust. The trust expressly stated that it was created to protect trust property from creditors and identified Mortensen and his descendants as beneficiaries. Mortensen’s mother gave Mortensen $100,000 to transfer the land to the trust. Mortensen invested $80,000 of the $100,000 in the trust and used the remaining $20,000 to pay debts. Mortensen invested the trust funds in the stock market, and the trust showed gains during the years Mortensen invested. At this same time, Mortensen accumulated over $250,000 in credit-card debt and filed for bankruptcy. The credit-card companies (creditors) tried to reach the trust assets to offset the debt.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (MacDonald, J.)
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