Quiz 21: Personal Property and Bailments


A property can be held either by a single person, or more than one person. When a property is held by a single person, it is known as severalty ; whereas, when it is held by two or more persons it is known as cotenancy. 'Tenancy by entirety' is a type of cotenancy, where a property was transferred to both wife and husband. As mentioned above, in case of ' tenancy by entirety ', a property belongs to both the wife and husband. Furthermore, in tenancy by entirety, interest of a spouse cannot be transferred to a third party. However, some jurisdictions allow the right of a spouse to share the possession and profit. As per common law jurisdiction, creditor of one of the spouses cannot claim the property which is being held under 'tenancy by entirety', when both the persons are living. Only after the death of a spouse, the property can be claimed by the creditor. However, if both the spouses are under the same obligation to a creditor, then the creditor can obtain execution against that particular property. In the given case, both husband and wife own the W mobile home under tenancy by entirety. Furthermore, it is also mentioned that both the husband and wife are under the same obligation to the creditor. Since, all the given circumstances allow the creditor to claim for the property held by both the spouses. Therefore, the creditor can successfully obtain the execution. It would not be the case, if only one of the spouses, i.e., either the husband or the wife was under the obligation of the creditor. Hence, it is concluded that the creditor of both husband and wife can obtain an execution against the W mobile home.

M relinquished her title (ownership) of plates by dumping it in a trash site. Hence, the plates are now "finders keepers" that is title is given to whoever finds these plates. M will have to argue that she had no intention of abandoning it, retaining title, e.g. maybe she dumped the plates when running away from a thief. But absent such evidence the plates are transferred to the new owner.

C received a check in form of a loan from an aunt. After some time the aunt wrote on a Christmas card that states to keep the money with no return. C may argue against her estate, wanting payment for the loan, that the Christmas card sent by his aunt is a gift of forgiveness of the check loan. However, the Christmas card is very vague and doesn't mention the amount of money, it could have been other money that C 's aunt gave him besides the check. In that case, C may still be liable for the loan. In hindsight C should have requested a detailed writing from his aunt for loan forgiveness.

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