If I need to buy a car for cash because my trucks engine is blown and I pay cash for the car will my trustee find out? 12 Answers as of October 16, 2014

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Yes, because all the trustee has to do is to do is do a title search in the motor vehicle registration department and obtain a copy of the title to the vehicle.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 10/16/2014
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor | Susan G. Taylor
You NEVER want to attempt to hide anything from a trustee. And it might or might not be alright, depending on the exemption scheme you're under.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 10/15/2014
R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
A couple of questions for you: Have you already filed? If so and the cash comes from post-petition sources (such as your job) as opposed to cash you had pre-filing, which you were obligated to report on your schedules, then the trustee will have no claim to either the cash or the truck. But if you had the cash and didn't report it when you filed you have committed bankruptcy fraud. Are you planning to file and not report that you have this cash? If so, you are about to commit bankruptcy fraud. If you do report that you have it the trustee will very likely take it. Whenever anyone asks "will my trustee find out" or "does my trustee have to know" it raises flags that you are about to do something you don't want the trustee to know about. Usually that means you are about to do something that could be considered fraudulent. It is never, ever worth the risk of going to prison just to hide something from the trustee. Besides, it just isn't right.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 10/14/2014
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
For example, in Colorado you are allowed a $5,000 exemption for a vehicle, unless you are 60 or older or are disabled or have a dependent that is disabled, then they double the exemption. If you use the vehicle in your occupation, you can claim a $20,000 exemption and claim the vehicle as a "tool of your trade". You are obligated to be 100% truthful. There is no need to hide information. Pay a lawyer for one hour of their time and do this right! You are allowed to pre-plan before you file BK. No need to worry.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/14/2014
Freeman Law Group, LLC
Freeman Law Group, LLC | Derek Freeman
Yes, the trustee can certainly find out. You should notify the trustee that you're planning on purchasing the car, unless you're planning on buying it with money you didn't disclose you had. In that case, you've committed fraud by not disclosing that you had the money on your bankruptcy forms and schedules.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/14/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    If you're buying a truck for cash, why are you concerned if your trustee finds out? There is no bankruptcy prohibition on using your cash to buy something. Unless you lied on your schedules and not disclose that you had a significant amount of cash and you're afraid it will be obvious when you use some of your hoard to buy a truck? When you buy a motor vehicle, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will put it online in a few days. I'm not a trustee but I know that trustees generally check these reports. If your purchase appears in line with your stated assets, then you don't have any problems. If you declared that you had $50 in cash on your schedules then you pay cash for a $45,000 truck six weeks later. You can expect to hear from 1st, your trustee who'll want to get the truck and whatever money you have left over. 2nd, the U.S. trustee who'll want to know how this money magically appeared. 3rd, a U.S. marshal who'll have a warrant for your arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 10/13/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Never mess with the trustee. I don't know if this is a ch7 or ch13 case. In any event you can do it right and not worry about "the trustee finding out". The answer does depend on what kind of bankruptcy you are in. Without more information I can't tell you how to do it right.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/13/2014
    D.J. Rausa, Attorney at Law | D.J. Rausa
    Assuming you have already filed for bankruptcy, the trustees typically do not care about post petition purchases.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/13/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Yes because it has to be registered the Secretary of State. They have a program that searches for assets. It is not worth hiding or lying to the trustee, fines ups to and including prison!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/13/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    If your bankruptcy trustee is interested in knowing, s/he can find out this information as vehicle records are readily available on the databases open to the US Department of Justice. I would need more information to be able to tell you whether or not the bankruptcy trustee would wish to know this information. For example, when your bankruptcy was filed, what chapter of bankruptcy you filed, and how you acquired the money you are using to make this purchase.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/13/2014
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    Probably not if you already had your 341 creditor meeting. But you have to disclose assets prior to your filing of the bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/13/2014
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    I presume from your question that you filed a Chapter 7 petition. I also presume that the cash you intend to use to buy the car was not disclosed to the trustee. If that's the situation, you are required to amend your petition to include the cash. If not, and the cash was generated after the date of your petition, from whatever source, you are free to do with it as you please. Everything you owned on the date of the petition belongs to your bankruptcy estate. Anything you earn or receive, other than the proceeds of litigation that was pending at the time of your bankruptcy or an inheritance you received after filing, belongs to you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/13/2014
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