Could Trump’s Properties Really Be Seized?

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Leni Cummins was quoted in a New York Times article discussing former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial and what the judgment means for his properties. After facing rejection from more than two dozen bond companies, Trump has yet to come up with the nearly half-a-billion dollar penalty owed to the state of New York. Although Trump’s social media company recently completed a merger resulting in more than enough funds to cover his penalty, he is restricted from selling his shares for six months or from using them as collateral. If the penalty is left unpaid, Trump will possibly see some of his bank accounts frozen and his properties in New York City seized.

The majority of Trump’s properties are not owned solely by him, as they are protected by interlocking trusts and limited liability companies; as many as 500 separate entities operate for him. This creates increased trouble for the court, thanks to the properties’ added protection. While the attorney general could issue a lien against Trump’s property, this is not necessarily the same as acquiring the property. “Putting a lien is kind of like a stop sign,” says Leni, who has previously mediated fraud claims before the New York State Office of the Attorney General. Before he could sell the property or take out loans against it, Trump would first have to pay the lien, as such a move prevents anything else from being done with the property. Significant hurdles in the seizure of his properties, in addition to the debts and mortgages on them that first need to be settled, leave New York State facing numerous legal and logistical challenges.

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