To consider an asset inaccessible, the client must provide a written statement from the joint owner(s) that they will not agree to sell the asset unless it is unsafe to contact the joint owner due to risk of domestic or sexual violence. For allowable proofs of domestic or sexual violence, see PM 21-01-05-b.
When the joint owner is an absent spouse, and the client cannot get their cooperation in selling the asset, and the client cannot legally sell it without the spouse's signature, the asset is inaccessible. If a divorce is filed, set a control to review the asset once the divorce is final.
To verify that an insurance policy is inaccessible, the client must provide written proof from the insurance company.
Review the status of inaccessible assets at each REDE. Document inaccessible assets in the case record.
Example 1: Mrs. B has the titles for 2 cars, a 1982 Oldsmobile in her name, and a 1989 Cavalier titled jointly with her 20 year old daughter. Mrs. B states that the Cavalier was bought by her daughter. Mrs. B appears as co-owner because her daughter is unable to afford the insurance under her own name. The daughter drives her car to work and does not live with Mrs. B. The daughter does not wish to sell the car.
Mrs. B submits a statement from her daughter that she bought the car to drive to work and refuses to sell it. The 1989 Cavalier is an inaccessible asset to Mrs. B since her daughter would have to agree to sell it.
Example 2: Mrs. P is separated from her husband. Mr. P is living in the family home and Mrs. P and the children are staying with friends. Mr. P refuses to talk to her and will not agree to sell the home.
Mrs. P cannot sell the house without his signature. Mrs. P is contacting an attorney to get a divorce and the property. The property is currently inaccessible to Mrs. P.
Example 3: Mrs. A and her sister are the joint owners of the single family house where their mother lives. Mrs. A's mother does not want to move and her sister refuses to sell.
Mrs. A provides a statement from her sister that she will not agree to sell the house because her mother lives there. The non-homestead property is unavailable to Mrs. A, making it an inaccessible asset.
Example 4: Mrs. R and her children left their home because of domestic violence by Mr. R. Both their cars, and their bank account are held jointly in Mr. and Mrs. R's names. If Mrs. R cannot withdraw money without Mr. R's consent, or if doing so would be unsafe due to risk of harm, funds in the bank account are inaccessible. Do not require a written statement from Mr. R that he will not sell the car. Do not contact Mr. R or anyone Mrs. R says is unsafe to contact.