HB 367 the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) will be up for a floor vote in House the week of May 3. This is important legislation because it protects the property interests of family members who have inherited land as tenants-in-common. It provides for fair treatment of all parties. It also prevents the forced sale of property at a price below fair market value. If a sale is ordered, the property would be sold on the open market.
Right now, any single heir or someone who bought an interest from an heir, can effectively force the heirs to sell the property through a partition sale “on the courthouse steps” (like a foreclosure). Other heirs who may be living on or caring for the property are forced to leave. Market value is rarely received for the property.
This is an issue primarily impacting middle to low-income families. There is documented history of severe land loss as a result of partition sales. These families often don’t have the resources to protect their interests in order to preserve family wealth.
NC REALTORS® strongly supports this bill as a protection of private property rights and as an issue of fairness.
Who opposes such a beneficial bill?
The Clerks of Court, who would administer the new process, strongly opposed this legislation and prevented it from receiving a House vote on April 28.
Why do they oppose this legislation?
They listed numerous reasons, but the biggest opposition is centered around the belief it will require more work to manage. In fact, in states that have enacted this legislation, partition proceedings have gone down. Additionally, we should always strive to do the right thing by the citizens of NC instead of ignoring an issue because it could potentially take more time.
Is North Carolina introducing groundbreaking legislation with this bill that no other states have enacted yet?
No, many states, including most Southern States, have enacted this legislation. In fact, South Carolina passed this legislation in 2015. South Carolina is important because it was considered ground zero for having a history of forced sales and lost wealth as a result of partition actions.
Please act now and contact your House member and ask for support of HB 367 – the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act. Help us protect NC families. North Carolina families deserve a fairer process for dealing with inherited property.
PS – If you have examples of partition sales that have created hardship, please contact Pam Melton.
Click the link below to log in and send your message: