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VanDLaw, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 833
Experience:  Chapter 7 & 13
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I loaned $11K to my brother. To date he has not paid me back

Customer Question

I loaned $11K to my brother. To date he has not paid me back and is also not paying his child support. My husband and I are helping his X to ensure the kids are taken care of. My brother has sold off everything that he owns, but really has no money at this time. The only asset I know that he owns is a 54ft Boat that he lives on. Since he has been selling off his property, and still has not paid me or his child support, I know that when it comes time to sell his last possesion, the back child support will not be taken care of. I am not so worried about what he owes me, but if I could get all or some back, I could place it in a trust for the kids. I just want to see them taken care of. PROBLEM: Even though I wired money for my brother to purchase his boat, I know that he has not transferred title into his own name. Can I and how do I put a lien agst this boat to ensure payment should he sell? I am located in Pennsylvania.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  VanDLaw replied 8 years ago.



First, if he hasn't titled the boat in his name, then he is not the owner of record. To get you loan paid back and put a lien on the boat, you would have to sue him in court, obtain a judgment and then find assets. If the boat is not in his name it is not an asset you can lien with your judgment. You could garnish wages or bank accounts if he has any once you have the judgment.


If the dealer is still listed as the owner, you could notify them that title has not transfered and let them know they are in a precarious position if something should happen on the boat, maybe they will force him to title it properly. If it is titled in a friend's name, there is not much you can do to attach a lien to the boat.


Child support enforcement can do the same thing.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thank you so much for your answer. My understanding from him is that he has not titled it in his name because he didn't want his creditors to be able to go after the boat. He recently was worried because the boat was not insured, because it isn't titled. It is contradictory to what the Boat Broker told me - he said that the boat was paid for in full and that the title was signed off on and that there was temporary insurance in place when he picked up the boat. It looks like his child support and our loan will never be repaid. He recently sold his home on a short sale through (which we were told was being foreclosed on - so no one put a lien on it). By some miracle, there weren't any liens agaist the house (not sure how this worked since he hasn't paid his property taxes). - He intentionally kept this under wraps so that I didn't know about it and his X didn't know about it as to not risk that we would place a lien on the house. I fear that he will do the same with the boat - he will not title it in his name and then conduct a transaction without us knowing about it until it is too late. I can just hope that he will take care of his kids should he do this.


Again, thank you for taking the time to answer me.

Expert:  VanDLaw replied 8 years ago.

You know......I was thinking, what if the boat is titled in his name and he is just telling you that so you won't put a lien on it? You said you knew it wasn't in his name, but it has to be titled to someone! If the dealer said he paid for it in full, and the title was transfered then it is probably in his name.


You will first have to receive a judgment, but once you do you can request a Judgment Debtor hearing where he has to show up and give the court a detailed inventory of all his assets. At that time if he tries to conceal the boat it could be a fraudulent transaction to hide assets.


Just a thought.....

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
That is a very good point. I am have someone doing a search on the Boat Hull number now. The only reason I thought otherwise, is that he wanted to put it in his girlfriend's name (she refused) so that his debtors would not be able to find it should they come after him (i.e. his house being foreclosed on, business property being foreclosed on, credit card companies...) Interestingly - his X just called me to tell me that she received a Tax Notice from delinquint 2005 taxes (which he was responsible to pay via divorce) - stating that unless she pays, they are going to put a lien on her property! Amazing - he owes everyone money - none of his properties get liened - she is now responsible for his payments. Just doesn't seem just. And knowing that she doesn't have anything, I will most likely be the one to pay it.
Expert:  VanDLaw replied 8 years ago.

If he was ordered to pay, she could file a Motion for Contempt with the court regarding the property tax lien. She should also send a copy of the judgment to the property tax assessor, althought it probably won't do much good. She should file the motion at least, he shouldn't just be getting away with it.