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Osoyoos motel owner loses second legal battle to protect property from creditors

Gurmeet Brar had appealed a 2021 ruling that the transfer of the motel to his wife and kids was fraudulent
scales of justice (File photo)

The Court of Appeal quashed the second attempt of an Osoyoos man who tried to protect his money from creditors by transferring a $2 million property to his ex-wife and children.

Gurmeet Brar made the transfer in 2017 for “$1 and natural love and affection”, two years after the Kootenay Savings Credit Union won a $1.5 million judgment against him.

That case was over Brar’s personal indemnity on the commercial mortgage to the Osoyoos motel that he and his sister-in-law jointly owned, putting it into receivership.

At the time, Brar had claimed the transfer of his half-share in the $2 million 10-acre residential farm property in Abbotsford was part of the 2009 decision he had made with his wife to separate. It also coincided with him stepping down from the position of director of Brar Berry Farms, and followed a failed attempt by the children to get financing for a $2.2 million purchase of the motel.

The credit union argued successfully that it was a fraudulent transfer in a 2021 court case, according to the 2023 judgment published on Feb. 13.

As a result, the judge had struck the portion of the desk order divorce regarding the property transfer to allow for the credit union to continue pursuing Brar for his debt.

In the family’s appeal, they argued that the judge in the original case should not have varied the divorce, and that the credit union had failed to prove that the transfer hadn’t been done in good faith to someone who at the time had no idea of any fraud going on.

The appeal court wasn’t swayed at all, and found no evidence that the 2021 decision had been incorrect. All three appeal Justices upheld the original judge’s ruling.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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