Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
If you transfer the property to your son for "reasonably equivalent value" (i.e., $20,000), then the bankruptcy court won't think anything about the transaction. If you gift the property to your son, and then file bankruptcy within the next 12 months, the bankruptcy trustee can demand the property's return, or it's value if your son sells it.
And, if the trustee can't get the money back, he/she can request that the court dismiss the bankruptcy entirely.
This is because your property transfer, unless for value, is considered a means to "hinder, delay or defraud" your creditors, which is what the bankruptcy court likes least of all.
If the transaction is based on the real cost of borrowing in the market, then the trustee can't object. Your actual "income" for the purposes of the bankruptcy calculations, would be based on the sales price minus your original basis in the land (what it cost you) + plus any interest on the $15,000 loan to your son.
The property needs to be appraised, so you can show what an arm's length buyer would have paid, and the loan needs to be at a fair market value interest rate.