Today we talk with the expert in the field of heirs’ property rights, Texas A&M Law Professor Thomas Mitchell. Prof. Mitchell is the Reporter – read: primary drafter for those not intimately aware of the terminology used by the Uniform Law Commission – of a policy crafted through the ULC to protect the property rights of individuals who have tenancy-in-common ownership of property. Essentially, the policy makes it more difficult to force a sale of property – through a forced sale auction that results in a fire sale price on the property rather than it’s fair market value – by codifying in state law that the primary remedy is for properties to be divided rather than using the courts to force a sale. Professor Mitchell goes into greater depth in the podcast about how the process has been abused in the past and in state where this policy is not in effect.
Thanks to the research and tireless advocacy of Prof. Mitchell, this law is in effect in 12 states/jurisdictions in the U.S., has been introduced in seven more states, and is being re-considered in the District of Columbia.
We talk about the conversations and research that started Prof. Mitchell down the path to write these laws, some of the biggest challenges that he and his coalition faced getting the policy enacted in one state, and as he puts it, “battling the ghost of Strom Thurmond.”
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