Eugene Summers and Ann Marie Summers (defendants), who were husband and wife, bought a piece of real estate with their daughter Aurora. The deed language explicitly stated that Eugene and Ann Marie took the property as joint tenants. Some time later, Ann Marie, and subsequently Eugene, filed individual bankruptcy petitions. Richard Hanf (plaintiff), the bankruptcy trustee for Ann Marie, alleged that the real estate at issue was acquired during the marriage and was therefore community property to be included in the bankruptcy estate. The bankruptcy court held that the real estate was held by Ann Marie as a joint tenant. The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) affirmed, and Hanf appealed the judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.