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Private Real Estate Trustee .com

Land Trust Services Company for Real Estate Investors


Private Real Estate Trustee

My name is Altan Kartaltepe and I am a private real estate trustee for land trusts. I provide land trust services for almost every state.

I have found out from my own real estate investing that, as it became easier to acquire real estate assets and real estate rights, it also became more difficult to keep the equities that I had grown because it catches the eyes of certain members of the public. There is a point when you grow enough real estate rights that you become noticed and then scrutinized. I call that point "The Threshold from Anonymity to Publicity." Virtually, all real estate transactions must be in writing. Virtually, all real estate transactions must publicly record those writings to protect those real estate rights. That makes your written transactions public. In other words, the general public knows from publicly recorded documents all about your real estate portfolio. Of course, the public does not know how much cash you have in the bank or how much you own in stocks but they certainly know how much you personally own in real estate.

I provide a solution to that publicity and further assist you in protecting your real estate assets by offering land trust services to help protect your privacy and help protect your real estate rights from assaults of many kinds.

I created this private land trust services website to service and manage trusts, in order to provide a professional fiduciary service to my land trust clients, trustors, settlors, grantors, principals and beneficiaries. Also, to offer securely and immediately, complete transparency about and total access to the current status, accounting and other information about my clients' trusts, trust assets and accounting. This website makes that information available 24-hours-a-day and 365-days-a-year through the power of the Internet.

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As a private real estate company, trust company and independent trustee, I am highly qualified to provide professional fiduciary services as a trustee for land trusts. I can help you understand the consequences of using land trusts as a tool.
Land Trusts are a type of living trust(inter-vivos trust).

The "Land Trust Agreement" is an agreement to hold the title to property in the name of another who is called a trustee, for your benefit and still leaving you in control of your property without permanently giving up any legal rights to the property. Because land trusts have become a popular method of asset protection, estate planning and tax planning, many people like you, are interested in setting up a trust. Because of the stress, time, energy and money to set up a trust, many come to me to save them on the details and expenses to set up trust agreements and trust accounts to help protect their real estate assets as their trustee. I am not a lawyer, however, I have the knowledge, being a licensed and recognized real estate professional by the State of Texas since 1986. Since 1993, I have been trusted by many like you to make land trusts work for them in many land trusts. Many wills and estate planning lawyers, as well as family lawyers are reluctant to act as trustees because of all the fiduciary duties placed on them as their trusteeship may conflict with their legal duties to you. So, even lawyers recommend me, as a trustee, to their clients for providing trust services for real estate. My fees are much less than a lawyer's fees; should a lawyer ever be needed, however, only then would you hire one to handle legal matters. I would still handle the trust and real estate matters for my beneficiaries. I can and will help you save money and make trusts work for you! I make forming a trust, whether a living revocable trust or living irrevocable trust, smoother and less tedious. The sooner you contact me, the sooner I help protect your assets.

Please review the confidentiality clauses contained in your trust agreements before proceeding. Moreover, use of the website is bound by the Terms & Conditions and the Privacy Policy of PrivateRealEstateTrustee.com.


As a provider of trust services, I can only follow instructions in setting up trusts, not offer any specific legal advice. I must assume that all my clients, trustors and beneficiaries are knowledgeable or have requisite counsel about inter-vivos trusts (living trusts) and land trusts in particular. For legal counsel, advice or representation, you are urged to consult a real estate attorney, tax lawyer or an estate planning and probate attorney of your choice who can provide tax and estate planning advice. I do recommend attorneys who I believe are knowledgeable about land trusts. However, obviously, I cannot warrant and do not warrant or be responsible for the help or legal advice they may provide.

The information on this website page is for educational purposes only and does not constitute specific legal advice, professional advice, regulated activity or licensable activity.

Advantages of Land Trusts

These advantages benefit individual homeowners, commercial property owners as well as real estate investors and speculators.

By holding real estate in your name, you must be aware of the risk of losing all your unprotected assets with one frivolous lawsuit. And although a land trust is not an all-encompassing asset protection device, it is an outstanding and cost effective tool that real estate investors and homeowners should consider as part their asset protection system. There are teeming up-sides and negligible down-sides by deeding your property to a land trust. In fact, the only down-sides of land trusts that I have found in my experience are: (a) Finding a trustable and knowledgeable trustee with reasonable trustee fees, which is of course why I am here in the business of doing exactly that! and (b) training and educating other professionals, like insurance agencies, property appraisers, appraissal districes, lenders and title companies to name a few, about how to provide professional services to a trust -- but then again, that is the exact reason why I am here when providing real estate land trust services! Also the IRS considers a land trust "invisible" because it is grantor-grantee trust in the eyes of the IRS and therefore has no effect or consequences on your IRS taxes. But, IRS has other specific rules about trusts, so be ever wary. Of course you still should check with your estate planning attorney about estate tax planning and your tax professional for complicated returns.

Here is something to think about: Since a lender already has your property pledged as collateral in the security instrument language included in the deed with vendor's lien recorded in the county's official deed records, then why do lenders in trust deed states want you to "deed" your property to a "deed of trust"? Just think about all those "deeds of trust".

Now, here are a few advantages, of almost 100 advantages that I know, for having a land trust hold your assets. Of course laws change all the time and may affect the following enumeration. However, many of my client beneficiaries have experienced these advantages in the past and many of these advantages are currently being enjoyed by my many of my current client beneficiaries. Remember, you should seek legal counsel if you are unsure of the current real estate law and trust code of your state. Please note that the term "avoid" is not used the same as the "legal meaning" of "evade". I obey all the laws and use the laws to help us both. I believe that is the purpose of the law.

A good beginner's guide to advantages of land trusts is Advantages of a Living Trust by directory M.

  • Avoid Beneficiaries' Personal Problems. Real estate structured in a land trust cannot be restructured by the spouse of a divorcing partner.
  • Avoid Real Estate Brokerage Laws. Since the beneficial interest in a land trust is personal property, you could perform many brokerage services for the beneficial interests without violating the real estate brokerage laws.
  • Avoid Personal Liability. When a land trust signs notes and mortgages and if there ever is a foreclosure, your liability for a default judgment can be limited or eliminated. Moreover, when owning several properties with strict local code enforcement, you could personally be criminally cited and dragged into court for code violations, no matter how minor. If the real estate is titled in land trusts, the code enforcement division would have to find the true responsible party and sometimes it is not even the trustee if the Trust is so set up. Furthermore, since the trust agreement is not in the public records for everyone to see, no one can easily find you. Also, a land trust titled real estate is generally not subject to judgments, lien and other claims, like IRS tax liens, State Tax Liens or homeowners' association (HOA) claims, against the beneficiaries of the trust. Therefore your new land trust can buy and sell real properties, even if you have judgments or liens against you personally. And conversely, liens, judgments and other claims against the trust are only against the trust and not you, the beneficiary, personally.
  • Avoid Partnership Complications I. Those who share ownership in a property or who own multiple properties can avoid many complications.
  • Avoid Partnership Complications II. Ordinary legal proceedings against one will not cloud the title to the trust assets.
  • Avoid Partnership Liability. A judgment against one of the Trust beneficiaries cannot create a lien on real estate held in trust.
  • Avoid Being Easy to be Sued. While the interest of a beneficiary can be subject to claims of creditors, the creditors must take additional expensive somewhat difficult steps to assert their claims against a property held in trust.
  • Avoid Stringent Conveyance Formalities. Beneficiary interest in the Trust can be conveyed by assignment without the formal and stringent requirements of conveyance by deed.
  • Avoid Partition. A dissatisfied heir or partner cannot force the trust to sell the real property.
  • Avoid Probate. Whomever you name in your land trust, generally, will get your beneficial interests instantly, without probate, without probate costs, without delay, without lawyers and in total privacy.
  • Avoid Lawsuits and Litigation. Sue happy lawyers like suing people who have lots of easily discoverable assets. Attorneys who work on contingency (or will work on contingency) will gladly take a case against you on contingency if it seems that you own lots of property after they scan the property records. Otherwise, if it appears that you are broke and own little or no assets then the odds of a lawsuit diminish. If you are, indeed, sued anyway, then the odds are that the plaintiffs will accept settlement through your insurance company. However, suppose the potential plaintiff believes that you do have "hidden" assets. First, trying to find an attorney to sue you on contingency will be difficult. Second, to hire an attorney will require the potential plaintiff to pay a $5,000 to $15,000 or more retainer to hire an attorney. That retainer in and of itself is quite a "bar" against lawsuits. Then, even if the retainer is paid, the prospect of finding and attaching these assets and then penetrating the trust, discourages litigation against you.
  • Avoid Seasoning Problems. Some lenders will not lend on real property if it has not been owned a certain length of time by the seller, however if a real property is in a land trust, the beneficial interests can be sold several times while maintaining the same ownership on the public records and building up seasoning. Furthermore, some lenders exempt land trusts (e.g. trustee sales) from seasoning rules. How sweet!
  • Avoid Shared Ownership Problems. Real estate owned by more than two people in the event of a divorce, legal disability or the death of one can be problematic to the sale of the property. A land trust helps here.
  • Avoid Speculators. By not being anonymous when you are trying to buy up several parcels of land in your own name, then the speculators can take notice and start raising the real estate market to exorbitant prices. (The Disneyworld Technique)
  • Avoid Solicitors. You may not care for unsolicited requests and inquiries about your home or investment property.
  • Avoid Title Claims Title insurance policies do not cover all problems even when you have a title policy. Therefore if you, personally, sign a warranty deed then you are subject to potential title claims against you, when, later, there is a title problem on the property the title policy does not cover. A case in point: A lien filed with or without your knowledge may result in your liability, even if you purchased title insurance. A land trust designed for your benefit, as seller, protects you personally from many types of title claims. These claims are only against and only limited to the trust. Now, since the land trust sold the real property, the land trust may longer exist (let's say "died"). So who or what is even left to make a claim against or has assets to chase? Can you see the excellent limitations on your liability exposure to title claims?
  • Avoid Making Gifts a Complicated Process. Interests in land trusts can be made as gifts to family members and take advantage of gift tax exclusions.
  • Avoid Additional Title Insurance Costs. By selling the beneficial interest in a land trust, instead of deeding the property, new title insurance is not necessary since title insurance does not insure beneficial interests, however the trust's title is still insured.
  • Avoid Realty Transfer Publicity. The Beneficial interest ownership, "true" ownership, is a private secret. Any transfer or sale of beneficial interest is private, too. By conveying only the beneficial interests the Purchase price and Sales price are kept secret, too. In this information age, the Internet provides ownership details and transaction detail of real property. Privacy is of utmost importance to those interested in asset protection. Part of which is not letting others know what you own, sell, transfer, convey, etc. Let your private land trust be the owner on all public records and many private records, not you.
  • Avoid Public Knowledge of Your Interests in a Particular Property. You may not want just anyone to know that you are a co-owner of that property leased to a (let's say) saloon.
  • Avoid Violating Professional Ethics Rules. In certain circumstances elected and non-elected government officials are allowed to own real property interests or investments through beneficial interests in land trusts without violating professional ethics rules.
  • Avoid Disclosures when Buying When buying properties with the intention of keeping the existing loan in place many laws require complete disclosure of the purchase agreement to all lien holders and interested parties no matter the structure of the buying entity whether a person, corporation, LLC, LP, etc. except when the buyer is a trust.
  • Avoid Disclosures when Selling When selling properties many states require a completed property condition disclosure form, except if the seller is a trust.
  • Better and Safer Lease-Purchases and Lease-Options. A lease-option or lease-purchase set up through a land trust can be structured to keep the purchase or option from vesting legal rights in the real property until the tenant-buyer or tenant-optionee has built up substantial equity. Moreover, most states allow land trusts to transact lease-purchases and lease-options with less disclosures and less regulation than other investment entities and therefore, more safely and privately, too.
  • Better Partial Liquidation. The problem of disposing of partial interest in a property is simplified.
  • Better Liquidity. The Land Trust can be pledged as easily as stocks, bonds, automobiles or any other personal property. Real Estate is well known to not be as liquid.
  • Better Financial Statements. When you have debts and mortgages in your own name the amount of debt in your name hurts your financial statement because of a higher debt ratio and you may appear a poor credit risk. When real property is in trust the mortgage can be in the name of the trust alone and therefore you can list only your equity (beneficial interests) on your financial statement.
  • Convert Non-assumable Loans into Assumable Loans. Make loans “Assumable-like” by using a land trust. Transferring title into a land trust with the seller as beneficiary does not usually trigger the alienation clause (due-on-sale clause) of the security instrument. After the transfer into a land trust, transfers of any, but not all, beneficial interest usually does not trigger the due-on-sale. Note: Transfer of all the beneficial interest does trigger the due-on-sale clause, however, the transfer is private and unknown to all, including the lender, because this transfer is totally private and is not recorded anywhere in any public records. The newest mortgage alienation clauses are trying to contractually close this exemption but there seems to be wiggle room still.
  • Easier Asset Transfers. With a land trust you can transfer full or fractional interests without having to record a deed.
  • Easier Control. Several partners can manage real estate more easily through a land trust.
  • Easier Foreclosure. When you sell and finance the beneficial interest it is possible to foreclose more easily on the interests than if you sold the real property and carried a mortgage. If allowed in the state and if the trust that sold the property on seller financning, then trust provides foreclosure trustee services including posting notice of trustee sale, conducting public auction, issuing trustee deed, etc. and keeping your good name a secret.
  • Easier Property Management. In dealings with tenants, you could act as merely an agent of the trust. Therefore, you can sympathize with tenants' problems while the Trustee requires the tenants' total compliance with the lease.
  • Easier Negotiations. When buying or selling property for a land trust you can defer to requirements of the trust while presenting yourself as the deal maker and not the actually buyer/seller.
  • More Powerful Purchase Contracts. Create contracts with your land trust as the buyer. Since, the ownership of a trust is termed “beneficial interest in the trust" and is assignable then the beneficial interests in the trust, which started out as yours, can be changed, conveyed, transferred and sold without changing the Buyer's name on the contract. This is an advantage in the case of a real estate purchase contract that is non-assignable as the purchase contract now becomes, in a sense, assignable. So in the case of bank-owned REO properties or HUD-owned properties, these sellers prohibit contract assignment. Therefore, make your offer in the name of a trust instead of in your own name. Now you can assign your interest in the land trust to another party without violating the non-assignability provision of the purchase contract.

I have been asked how do you know all that I know about land trusts. Okay, I have been asked this so many times over the years. The answer is simple. I am an experienced investor since 1986; I hold a professional real estate license from the State of Texas that was originally registered in 1986; I am a beneficiary of land trusts since 1989; I am a private real estate trustee for land trusts since 1993; and I have experienced it! Then I educated myself on that experience to see if I can do better next time, lose less money next time, make more money next time, get less legally entangled next time, etc. In other words, I have been there, done that, got the t-shirt, the scars and gained the precious knowledge and wisdom needed by a professional private real estate trustee. Now my job is to help you avoid the traps and pitfalls and to help you reap advantages from the "table" that other buyers, sellers, trustees, plaintiffs, defendants, real estate brokers, real estate agents, right-of-way agents, landmen, attorneys, investors, speculators, code compliance enforcers, title agents, escrow officers, lenders and others very often leave "on-the-table". Yes, again! I have had dealings with all the them. I have experience of all sorts and from all sorts — from the least competent to the most competent; from the most generous to the most ruthless; from the most honorable to the shadiest; and I truly believe from the insane to the criminal (this part is not funny). I guess it is getting about time I wrote a book.

Call me so that I may help you and your lawyer set up land trusts
in a way to gain the most advantages possible, at 210-744-7085.

Altan Kartaltepe

Private Real Estate Trustee

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