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Questions on Fraudulent Conveyance Law

Fraudulent conveyance is the attempt to hinder a creditor's ability to collect on a debt by transferring personal assets to another person. Many people attempt this act as a last attempt to hide assets from creditor so the property cannot be listed in a claim against them. Knowingly transferring property in an attempt to block a creditor from collection can be set aside by the court if the creditor files a motion to do so. Below are just a few of the more commonly asked legal questions regarding fraudulent conveyance.

If a creditor is after my assets, can I transfer title of my home and car to my wife?

When you are transferring assets to your spouse with the deliberate attempt to avoid collection from a creditor, you are considered to be committing fraud. However, if your spouse was to pay a fair market value for the property, the transfer would be a legitimate action and couldn't be considered fraudulent conveyance. You could argue that the transfer of title was made as a gift of love or admiration, however the transfer would still be considered fraudulent if it was done in an attempt to claim the debtor spouse doesn't have the assets to pay a debt.

If you research the fraudulent conveyance laws, you will understand the risk you will be taking by transferring your titles to your spouse to avoid a potential lawsuit. It is possible that the court would find you guilty of fraudulent conveyance and use its judicial power to retrieve the assets. You should probably find a different approach to satisfy your creditor and avoid transferring your assets to your spouse.

My husband recently died, and I could not afford my home. I had a quit claim property deed and gave the property to my daughter. At the same time, I had a judgment filed against me. The Plaintiff is charging me with a fraudulent conveyance of property. I purchased a supersedeas bond believing that would allow me and my family to grieve in peace, but the Plaintiff is unrelenting. Isn't the supersedes bond worth anything?

Usually, a quit claim deed could be reversed if the only reason for it was to block a creditor from collecting on a debt. Also, if this transfer to your daughter took place within 6 months of the judgment, it might appear that it was done with the intent to avoid collection and would be considered fraudulent conveyance. As for the supersedeas bond, this would just delay the process of payment. You would still have to pay the debt. Having the bond doesn't allow you to transfer your assets if they are listed in a judgment. The plaintiff might think you are trying to hide the assets to avid the collection of a debt. This may be why they are being so aggressive in the claim of fraudulent conveyance.

I am part owner of a company in Michigan that is going to be liquidated shortly. I made officer loans over the past five years and would like to file a lien so my loan will be paid before unsecured creditors. Is this legal and if so, how do I file?

You could file a UCC lien. To learn more about UCC liens, instructions and the forms for filing, follow this link: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1631_8851---,00.html

However, it may appear that your lien is an attempt at fraudulent conveyance. A Michigan court has the power to set aside any fraudulent conveyance that is made within 6 years of a claim. This means that your attempt to place a lien on the company's assets at this late date may appear to the court that you are trying to protect assets that would otherwise go as collection to a creditor. While you have a valid claim of debt owed by the company, placing a lien on the company may appear as an attempt of fraudulent conveyance. Usually, the court will set aside the claim if the creditor of the debtor corp. files a motion to do so.

I have a piece of property that my brother and I own. We want to put it in a family trust so we can protect it. I have a judgment against me and don't want to lose the property. Is this something that we should do?

Attempting to transfer the property to avoid collection from a creditor is a fraudulent conveyance. Fraudulent transfer or fraudulent conveyance is defined as: a transfer of property that is made to swindle, hinder, or delay a creditor, or to put such property beyond his or her reach.

For example, you transfer title of your vehicle to your wife. You tell your wife, the car is still yours but you don't want to have the car in your name due to a creditor seeking collection on a debt. You deliberately deceive the court and the creditor by hiding your assets. This is a classic form of fraudulent conveyance and it can be set aside by the court if the creditor requests it.

Fraudulent conveyance is the transfer of property in the attempt to hide it from a creditor for collection on a debt. There could be situations where you intentionally or otherwise become the perpetrator or victim of fraudulent conveyance. You should consider asking an Expert to assess your case particulars to learn the consequences and other options that may better suit your individual situation.

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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
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Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
4460311
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