Property transfer to ex-wife revoked for indebted Osoyoos motel owner | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Property transfer to ex-wife revoked for indebted Osoyoos motel owner

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An Osoyoos motel owner who was deep in debt tried to assign his share in a $2 million Abbotsford farm to his ex-wife but a judge ruled it was done simply to hide the asset from creditors, according to a B.C. Supreme Court decision.

The transfer of Gurmeet Brar’s property was voided by Justice David Crerar, meaning the home will likely be seized by creditors.

On Nov. 15, 2017, he initially gave his half of a 10-acre farm to his ex wife Navdeep Brar, as well as two of their adult children, for “$1 and natural love and affection,” according to the Oct. 18 decision.

On the day Gurmeet transferred his half of the property over to his ex-wife for the benefit of his children, he was carrying nearly $2 million worth of debt. That debt accumulated as a result of a mortgage he took out on an Osoyoos motel in December 2013.

In October 2016, Gurmeet transferred his 50% stake in the family’s farm, Brar Berry Farms Ltd., to his son Mavin.

“The plaintiff (Kootenay Savings Credit Union) argues that the Brars transferred the Property in order to insulate it from the ongoing collection efforts against Gurmeet,” according to the decision.

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The Brars claimed the property was transferred in good faith, and that the arrangement of family property was “admittedly slow-moving” after the parents’ divorce in 2008.

“They say that the marriage failed when Gurmeet began a romantic relationship with Harjinder Saran: his business partner, and Navdeep’s brother’s wife.”

But Justice Crerar was not convinced.

“I find that the transfer of the property was “made to delay, hinder or defraud” the plaintiff, and that the defendants cannot rely upon the good faith defence,” reads the decision.

Brars’ evidence was wholly uncorroborated, and they did not call on their accountant or mortgage broker, who both supposedly witnessed their legal agreements.

“The Brar family suffered from an acute collective memory fog. Their individual evidence was replete with responses of 'I do not remember,'” Crerar wrote.

Every family member had trouble with memory. Gurmeet attributed his poor memory to the stress of his failed businesses and his drinking. Navdeep blamed her “asserted unsophistication and health issues” and her interpreter. Their daughters were too focused on their studies. And they said their son was “very young,” but the decision said “in fact he was in his mid- to late-twenties at the relevant times.”

Mavin initially acted aloof, but did “admit greater knowledge and involvement than he had first professed, in an attempt to protect his mother’s repeated defence of general ignorance.” His testimony was "evasive, glib, and argumentative.”

One pattern that emerged between the Brar family was their testimony “came off as synchronized and rehearsed.”

Since the Court was in favour of the plaintiff, “a likely result will be the loss of the family home for the mother and son, the loss of the berry business for the mother and son, and the loss of a substantial potential inheritance for the three children.”

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