Can I accept a gift from someone who is filing for bankruptcy? 31 Answers as of June 20, 2011

My boyfriend is preparing to file for bankruptcy and wants to sign his car into my name. Can I get in legal trouble for accepting the gift?

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The Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm
The Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm | Thomas A McAvity
Your boyfriend should speak to his bankruptcy attorney immediately. The repercussions of his signing a car into your name could be disastrous for him.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/20/2011
Jackson White, PC
Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
You probably won't get into trouble, but you're not going to be able to keep the car if he just gives it to you. The Trustee has the power and will come and take the car away from you. It would be better if you bought the car for a fair value.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/17/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
HE can get into trouble. That's a preferential transfer, and could be seen as an attempt to hinder, defraud, or delay creditors. The car may also be exempt, so he should check with a lawyer before doing anything.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/17/2011
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
Taking this "gift" would be a bad idea. It can lead to you and your boyfriend both being sued by a bankruptcy trustee. The transfer to you for no money is a fraudulent conveyance. My advice: Don't do it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/17/2011
Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy
Lakelaw - Loop Bankruptcy | David Leibowitz
No - that's a fraudulent transfer and you'll have to give it back - or its value - to the trustee.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/17/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    Yes.If the car is worth more than $3,000, you would probably have to turn it over to the bankruptcy trustee.Potentially, you could be subject to criminal charges for attempting to defraud the bankruptcy court.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Saedi Law Group
    Saedi Law Group | Lorena Saedi
    Any transfer or gifts must be disclosed on your boyfriend's petition and any transfer done within 1 year of filing will automatically be assumed to be a fraudulent transfer. Depending on how much equity is in the car there may be no need for your boyfriend to transfer the car. I would suggest that he consult with an attorney in his area who specializes in bankruptcy. If the car is transferred to you and a trustee challenges that transfer then the trustee can request that you turn over the car to the trustee for the benefit of creditors.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
    One cannot conceal assets or fraudulently transfer assets. Your boyfriend must consult an attorney to avoid shooting himself in the foot.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    You cannot get in trouble unless it can be shown that you have entered into a conspiracy with your boyfriend to commit bankruptcy fraud. Your boyfriend is not being smart here. All transfers of any assets within 2 years of filing for bankruptcy must be disclosed or that person would be lying to the court and could potentially be convicted of a crime. What most people don't know is that california exemptions are very liberal and as a result very few people lose anything by filing bankruptcy. My advice don't do it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    The transfer will need to be scheduled on the petition so the BK court will find out, and may take it back into the BK estate.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Big fat yes on that.... The trustee can undo that transfer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    This is not a good idea. If he makes a gift to you within 12 months of filing for Bankruptcy this asset may be seized by the Bankruptcy Trustee. If he is planning on filing within a year, and you are not paying full value for the vehicle, he is better off leaving it as is and using exemptions to protect it.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC
    Law Office of Dennis Jay Sargent Jr, PLLC | Dennis J Sargent Jr.
    I would not recommend it. To the Trustee it would look like that he is trying to hide or remove property from the estate and the Trustee can come after the vehicle while in bankruptcy. Without knowing the complete circumstances behind your boyfriends bankruptcy, it would be better to disclose the car and try and exempt it so that he could keep it. Anytime you move or dispose of property prior to filing for bankruptcy you stand the chance of having the Trustee retake and sell for the benefit of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Such a gift is considered an "insider trade" under bankruptcy and the bankruptcy trustee and court can reverse the transaction and seize the vehicle for the creditors of the bankruptcy estate.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller
    Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller | Jackie Robert Geller
    He will have to disclose all gifts made before filing. Depending on the value of the car, the trustee may require you to return the car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Breckenridge and Walton
    Breckenridge and Walton | Alan D. Walton
    No, but he can. And the Trustee in the case can recover the car from you and sell it to pay your boyfriend's debts. It is very possible that he can protect the car if he keeps it. Once he gives it away it is lost. He really needs to talk to a knowledgable attorney about this.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/17/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    Both of you can. Him more than you.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Depends on your definition of trouble. If the bankruptcy trustee deems this to be a fraudulent transfer, and being on the eve of the bankruptcy, and the recipient being his girlfriend, and the fact that he received no consideration for the transfer, if would appear that it is. If so, the trustee can go after you the transferee to get the property back.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Yes, you definitely can. And you can get into trouble for it even if he doesn't file bankruptcy. What you are describing is the textbook definition of a fraudulent transfer and you can be sued either by a trustee in bankruptcy, or by his creditors outside of bankruptcy for the value of the item transferred to you for up to 4 years (in most states) from the date of the transfer. (Some states have longer lookback periods).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The Doan Law Firm
    The Doan Law Firm | Shawn Doan
    You may have to give the car back to his bankruptcy trustee, as this would most likely be considered a fraudulent transfer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    Your son can be in trouble by giving away assets particularly if he does not report the transfer in his bankruptcy petition. You should not accept the gift unless it is reported by your son. The trustee may be entitled to take the gift from you since transferring property without consideration (payment of fair market value) could be a fraudulent transfer (a transfer to avoid paying debts or having the trustee take the property to pay the debts). Be careful. Best is to consult with an attorney before accepting a gift from someone who is about to file for bankruptcy since you could be accused of being involved in a conspiracy with your son to defraud his creditors and could also constitute bankruptcy fraud. Even if you are innocent you might be involved in something that will cause you a big headache or worse.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    It is a big mistake to transfer assets prior to filing bankruptcy. The chapter 7 trustee will end up getting the car by using his preference powers.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Transferring property prior to filing bankruptcy is never a good idea as it could be considered a fraudulent transfer. A trustee can actually reverse the transfer of property and sell the property if it is not protected under the bankruptcy exemptions for your state.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    You will not get into trouble; but the trustee of the bankruptcy case will come after you to get the car back. You should have your boyfriend consult an attorney regarding this or other transfers. They are frowned upon by the court to say the lease.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Yes, the bankruptcy trustee can get the car from you and sell it to pay his creditors unless you pay him current fair market value for the car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    Yes. This is remarkably stupid. He must not have a lawyer, because a lawyer would advise him not to try to hide assets. It is in violation of federal bankruptcy law and may be criminally actionable. It is also called fraudulent conveyance, and you may be named in an action for recovery of such an asset. This is significantly stressful especially when depositions and discovery begin. don't do it and please see an attorney. Thanks for tuning in!
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    NO! Both of you might land in federal prison (worst case scenario) and (best case scenario) the court will probably take the car from you. His discharge will probably be denied as well. If he has a lawyer, and he needs one, his lawyer already has cautioned him against such conduct.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    That would be fraud on his part.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You both can get in trouble for that. He may not transfer property immediately before filing for bankruptcy unless he reports it and then, you may lose the car anyway (which I assume is the reason he wants to transfer the vehicle in the first place). This is bankruptcy fraud. Don't do it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    Someone filing bankruptcy cannot transfer assets for 6 months prior to filing for bankruptcy, and possibly longer. If the Trustee found out about the transfer they would find abuse.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    No but your boyfriend can be accused of a fraudulent transfer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
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