Nebraska Revised Statute 68-990

Chapter 68 Section 990

68-990.

Medical assistance; transfers; security for recovery of indebtedness to department; lien; notice; filing; department; duties.

(1) For purposes of this section:

(a) Related transferee means:

(i) An individual who is related to the transferor as described in section 77-2004 or 77-2005;

(ii) An entity controlled by one or more individuals described in subdivision (1)(a)(i) of this section. For purposes of this subdivision, control means individuals described in subdivision (1)(a)(i) of this section together own or have the option to acquire more than fifty percent of the entity; or

(iii) An irrevocable trust in which an individual described in subdivision (1)(a)(i) of this section is a beneficiary; and

(b) Related transferee does not include the recipient's spouse, if any, or a child who either is under twenty-one years of age or is blind or totally and permanently disabled as defined by Supplemental Security Income criteria.

(2) This section shall apply to the fullest extent permitted by federal law and understandings entered into between the state and the federal government. This section provides security for the recovery of the indebtedness to the department for medical assistance as provided in section 68-919. This section applies to transfers of real estate made on or after August 24, 2017. If, during the transferor's lifetime, an interest in real estate is irrevocably transferred to a related transferee for less than full consideration and the real estate transferred to the related transferee is subject to rights, actual or constructive possession, or powers retained by the transferor in a deed or other instrument, the interest in the real estate when acquired by the related transferee is subject to a lien in favor of the State of Nebraska for medical assistance reimbursement pursuant to section 68-919 to the extent necessary to secure payment in full of any claim remaining unpaid after application of the assets of the transferor's probate estate, not to exceed the amount determined under subsection (6) of this section. The lien does not attach to any interest retained by the transferor. Except as provided in this section, the lien applies to medical assistance provided before, at the same time as, or after the filing of the notice of lien under subsection (4) of this section.

(3) Within fifteen days after receipt of a statement required by section 76-214 indicating that the underlying real estate transfer was between relatives or, if to a trustee, where the trustor or settlor and the beneficiary are relatives, the register of deeds shall send a copy of such statement, together with the parcel identification number, if ascertainable, to the department. The copy shall be provided to the department in a delivery manner and at an address designated by the department, which manner may include email. The department shall post the acceptable manner of delivering the copy on its web site or otherwise communicate the manner of delivery to the registers of deeds.

(4) The lien imposed by subsection (2) of this section becomes effective upon the filing of a notice of lien in accordance with this subsection. The department may file a notice of the lien imposed by subsection (2) of this section only after the department receives an application for medical assistance on behalf of a transferor. The notice must be filed in the office of the register of deeds of the county or counties in which the real estate subject to the lien is located. The notice must provide the legal description of the real estate subject to the lien, specify the amount then secured by the lien, and indicate that the lien also covers any future medical assistance provided to the transferor. The department shall provide the register of deeds with a self-addressed return envelope bearing sufficient postage for purposes of returning to the department a file-stamped copy of the notice of lien, which the register of deeds shall mail to the department. The lien is not valid against the owner of an interest in real estate received by a grantee who is not a related transferee pursuant to a deed or other instrument if such deed or other instrument is filed prior to the notice of lien. A lien that is not valid under this subsection shall be released by the department upon notice thereof from such grantee or a subsequent bona fide purchaser. A lien is valid against any subsequent creditor only if notice of such lien has been filed by the department in accordance with this subsection. Any mortgage or trust deed recorded prior to the filing of a notice of lien shall have priority over such lien. Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, any optional future advance or advance necessary to protect the security secured by the mortgage or trust deed shall have the same priority as the mortgage or trust deed.

(5) Any optional future advance made pursuant to a mortgage or trust deed on real estate recorded prior to the filing of a notice of lien under subsection (4) of this section shall be junior to such lien only if the optional future advance is made after:

(a) A notice of lien has been filed by the department in accordance with subsection (4) of this section; and

(b) Written notice of the filing for record of such notice of lien has been received by the mortgagee or beneficiary at the address of the mortgagee or beneficiary set forth in the mortgage or trust deed or, if the mortgage or trust deed has been assigned, by the assignee at the address of the most recent assignee reflected in a recorded assignment of the mortgage or trust deed. The notice under this subdivision shall be sent by the department by certified mail to the applicable mortgagee, beneficiary, or assignee.

(6)(a) The lien authorized in this section is limited to the lesser of (i) the amount necessary to fully satisfy any reimbursement obligations remaining unpaid after application of any assets from the transferor's probate estate or (ii) the actual value of the real estate at the time that the lien is enforced minus the consideration adjustment and minus the cost of the improvements made to the real estate by or on behalf of the related transferee, if any.

(b) For purposes of this subsection:

(i) Actual value has the same meaning as in section 77-112;

(ii) Consideration adjustment means the amount of consideration paid by the related transferee to the transferor for the real estate multiplied by the growth factor; and

(iii) Growth factor means the actual value of the real estate at the time the lien is enforced divided by the actual value of the real estate at the time the consideration was paid.

(c) The burden of proof for showing the consideration paid for the real estate, the cost of any improvements to the real estate, and the actual value of the real estate rests with the related transferee or his or her successor in interest.

(7) If a deed or other instrument transferring an interest in real estate contains a recital acknowledged by the grantor stating that the grantee is not a related transferee, the real estate being transferred shall not be subject to the lien imposed by this section. A related transferee who takes possession or otherwise enjoys the benefits of the transfer knowing the recital is false becomes personally liable for medical assistance reimbursement to the extent necessary to discharge any claim remaining unpaid after application of the assets of the transferor's probate estate, not to exceed the amount determined under subsection (6) of this section.

(8) The department shall release or subordinate the lien authorized in this section upon application by the related transferee in which the related transferee agrees to indemnify the department for medical assistance reimbursement pursuant to section 68-919 to the extent necessary to discharge any such claim remaining unpaid after application of the assets of the transferor's probate estate, not to exceed the amount determined under subsection (6) of this section. The department may require the application submitted pursuant to this subsection to be accompanied by good and sufficient sureties or other evidence determined by the department to be sufficient to secure the liability. The department shall also release the lien upon a satisfactory showing of undue hardship or a showing that the interest subject to the lien is not one from which medical assistance reimbursement may be had.

(9)(a) Any indemnity and any lien shall be released upon:

(i) Notice delivered to the department, by certified mail, return receipt requested, of (A) the death and identification, including the social security number, of the transferor, (B) the legal description of the real estate subject to the indemnity or lien, and (C) the names and addresses of the owners of record of the real estate; and

(ii) The department either (A) filing a release of lien with the register of deeds of the county or counties in which the real estate subject to the lien is located or (B) not filing an action to foreclose the lien or collect on the indemnity within one year after delivery of the notice required under subdivision (9)(a)(i) of this section.

(b) Proof of delivery of such notice shall be made by filing a copy of the notice and a copy of the certified mail return receipt with the register of deeds of the county or counties in which the real estate subject to the lien is located.

(10) The department may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out this section.