Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.
Question: “What does this mean?”
Answer: Well, the bankruptcy trustee is correct. After a debtor files for bankruptcy, her non-exempt assets are taken and sold, and the proceeds are divided among her creditors. So, a clever debtor may think “why should I let my assets be taken and sold when I can give them to my family and friends instead? In fact, if I do that, then my family and friends will probably let me use those assets as if I still owned them.” That is called a fraudulent transfer because that debtor would basically be defrauding her creditors. If the debtor legitimately sold the asset, then that’s legal because the proceeds from the sale can be taken to repay her creditors just like the original asset could have been taken.
So, the purpose of the law is to prevent people from giving away their assets prior to filing for bankruptcy.
It sounds like your best defense is going to be that you were given the property in exchange for paying for paying for your sister’s utilities, food, medicines, etc. I have to be honest, however, that I think you have a weak case since the mobile home is probably worth much more than those bills that you’ve paid. Still, that is probably your best argument. You’ll want to prove that you’ve paid such bills if possible (i.e. show receipts, etc.). I also think you’ll want to frame it as a conscious exchange of benefits. If you frame it as she gave you the property, and therefore, you’re helping her out, then that will not help your case since the transaction should be viewed as a true sale.
Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.
If the information that I provided was helpful, then please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time. Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!
The mobile has very little value and the land is worth about $10,000. Having paid for my sister since August 2007 at a conservative estimated cost of $500 a month and monies I have already loaned her, I believe that I have more than paid for the value of her 1/2 of the premises. The house was not transferred as an intent to commit fraud of any kind. It was transferred as a way for my sister to keep a roof over her head and have room and board provided for her.
We do have a firm working on this. Thanks for your assistance.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).