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Well-Known Member
Jun 12, 2017
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If one were buying a home some where in the great state of Texas, and they did not want their name on public records, could this be done as a Sole Proprietor?

I've been doing some reading on how to have privacy when you own a home and I found that investors like to use an LLC if it's rental property or if they are going to fix the property up and sell it.

But, if you have a home under an LLC and you're living in it as your primary residence then the laws of Texas that protect your homestead from creditors does not apply simply because the home is in the name of an LLC

So, since a Sole Proprietor can be done in the form of a DBA filed at the county courthouse and it represents an individual... I'm wondering if a fella could go down and setup a DBA name as a Sole Proprietor and then put the home under the DBA name and still maintain the homestead protection state law provides for individuals since after all... setting up a DBA name as a Sole Proprietor simply represents a person and is not an LLC or a Corporation.

Just curious if anybody has any thoughts on whether this would work or not.

The idea behind privacy is so your personal name is not on public records as a home owner and one could even get a bank account under the DBA name and put utilities in that name. It just makes it a little harder for people to find your home thru public records mainly cause... it's ain't none they bidness anyhow! :cool:.
If you utilize the computer at all, then I'd say forget the hassle. They already know whether you wear boxers or briefs.
So I should just lay down and make it really easy for them? We all have a right to privacy and I'd like to at least make someone have to work for it to find me.

I understand it's not 100% positive that they wouldn't be able to find me, but why make it easy and just knowingly make things public?
Sometimes it is easier to hide in plain sight. I know many cops who filed for confidentiality for their license plates, just to keep off the radar, but these confidentiality forms were sold to almost every 1% motorcycle gangs.

You buy a cell phone, it's public records. You buy a car, it's public records. You have electricity installed, it's public records. You buy a gun, it's public records. Get an extended warranty, it's public records. Get a credit card, it's public records. See what I am saying?

Of course, I suppose someone could live under a rock, with no utilities, internet, or cell phone, but someone you trust will be tasked with providing you food and water. Therefore, it is no longer private.
Do what my ex did, change your name to the most common in a large phone book (if you can find a phone book to consult).
He went from a recognizable name to James Edward Davis as it was the most common names in the Atlanta phone book when he was looking.
My cell phone, driver's license is under a private mailing center (similar to a UPS store), as is the title to all my vehicles, and bank records. I don't use my physical address for anything
I think in this age it would be extremely hard to not be found if someone really wanted to find you. Short changing your name and/or going off grid. I mean an LLC is linked back to you. I had to provide all my personal information when I filed my LLC. I had a sole proprietorship before that and my personal information was all over that. Could you maybe open a trust and let that hold the property and maybe shield your name? Again I think anyone that wanted to know could find out with a little digging. Have you ever searched yourself online and see what you could easily find? Or you could move to like Mexico, probably real easy to disappear someplace like that.
IIRC LLCs show who signed as trustee. I often use GIS and real estate sales data to take a peek at a poster's property (just out of curiosity).
I'm not interested in debating whether someone would be able to find me or not... obviously is one has the right tools to research they would be able to do so. I'm just not untested in laying down and making it easy like everyone else is doing. (sorry, I'm not much of a conformist but if you are.... hope that works out for ya!)

I've already looked in to doing an LLC and that will not work for me as stated in my original post. (LLC works great for investment property, not so great when it's your primary residence)

My question is concerning putting a home under a DBA (Sole Proprietor) and would it still retain the homestead protections provided by Texas law
Sorry, I wasn't trying to debate. I'll leave you be.
My question is concerning putting a home under a DBA (Sole Proprietor) and would it still retain the homestead protections provided by Texas law

That's all I was asking about... concerning the legal stuff, you can ask 10 lawyers and in many cases get 10 different opinions and a good lawyer will tell you you can't be sure about any legal opinion until it plays out in court

So, all we can do is the best we can based on legal opinions which is all I'm trying to ascertain is if putting a home under a DBA (Sole Proprietor) and would it still retain the homestead protections provided by Texas law

I'm waiting on replies from some attorneys now about this and while I'm waiting for their reply (opinion), I thought I'd ask here to if if anyone has done this before.
A land trust can be used to maintain anonymous ownership of property.
Even the tax bill will be billed to the trust.
Talk to any good lawyer about setting one up.
Your real name will not be anywhere in public records.
Yep, I saw that land trusts is another option but it's unclear at the moment to me if homestead protections under Texas law would still be applicable in the event you got a lawsuit judgement.

While it may be unlikely that someone would sue you, it's smart to plan for that scenario since lots of folks try to get something for nothing these days by suing people.

I know one real estate attorney in town and I asked him about it and he said he does not do trusts and doesn't know much about them. (He may have gotten his law degree from a Kmart Blue Light Special)

I'm having a hard time finding an attorney that knows more than what I can read up about myself so it's starting to look like lawyers are about useless as tits on a boar hog.

Most of them just want to give generalized responses with no research in to case law and then charge a few hundred bucks for something I can learn myself thru research in reading writings of legal opinions and articles writing by attorneys
I was able to complete the purchase using a personal revocable trust that I provided a name for other than using my personal name.

So, the title deed does not have my name on it and will be filed that way with the county, and I have a bank account in the name of the trust so I can pay all utilities with that and have utilities in the name of the trust.

I'm just a lowly trustee...
Quote - Sorry, I wasn't trying to debate. I'll leave you be.

I wasn't trying to fuss at you, but I'm aware that it's not possible to be 100% unseen so to speak.

I just didn't want to make it easy for someone to find me.

Obviously if I were wanted by the law dogs, I'm sure they have ways to find anybody unless it was someone that moved to another state and lived out in the woods permanently and never went to town or had any electronics.

A person like that might be hard to find and that's not something I'm looking to do since I'm not a criminal trying to stay out of prison like the unibomber or some mobster in hidding.
I get what you're saying Krich, which is why I kept pressing "Like" on all your comments in this thread. I don't think I'd go through as much trouble as you're going through but I definitely understand why you're doing it. In my case, I try to do little things that remind me to care about my privacy. Part of the reason I use DDG as a search engine (aside from that I like it and that it really does offer more privacy than the big competitors) is that every time I run a search on there I'm reminded that I do and should care about my privacy, even if using DDG and installing DDG's recommended plugins doesn't mean I actually have perfect 100% privacy. Not being complacent is the name of the game, and the more you put in the more you get out. Good for you.
Interestingly, NOWHERE, in your quest for information, have you said that you have asked, ANY, land title attny, in Texas.
I did not need to talk to an attorney because many active attorneys that work with real estate have written articles (many on their own law firm's website) expressing their opinions and some of these guys have differing opinions so just because one talks to an attorney doesn't mean they know what they are talking about based on what other attorney in the field say about their opinion.

Some attorneys like doing wills and discourage people from using a trust , others like to use trusts and don't recommend using wills.

The fact of the matter is a lot of folks put real estate under a trust and have been doing for for who knows how many years, probably since this country became a nation so this is not un-common at all and the best part is it avoids probate when you croak and it provides privacy.
Also, some folks create an LLC, which survives, without a will, by successorship.
But, I cannot do an LLC in my state because the state guaranteed homestead protections do not apply to properties under an LLC. Those protections are in place if the property is under a trust

So, those that are doing investment properties might consider doing an LLC since none of those properties are their primary residence.

A major advantage of a trust over an LLC is a trust doesn't have to be filed with the state's public records like an LLC does. You can search state records and find out who is involved in an LLC and with a trust you cannot because it's not public informatrion