I am considering chapter 7 bankruptcy in CA and I own two cars. The question is about the 2nd car that I bought for my dad 4 years and 9 months ago which my dad is listed as co-buyer. I was told by friend that it would be OK if I just transfer the title before I file chapter 7 but I am worried that I am relying on incorrect information. I hate to see my dad's car taken away. What should I do? Should I sell the car or should I just remove my name from the title? By the way, the car is not paid off yet. Thanks in advance.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Don't do anything just before a bankruptcy, as a trustee has broad avoidance powers. Your interest in that or any asset may be protected by an exemption.
Bankruptcy requires review of your entire financial situation including all debts, income and assets. I highly recommend that you retain an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your jurisdiction to guide you through the complexities of bankruptcy law and procedure. Do not file this bankruptcy without hiring a California bankruptcy attorney. You can't afford not to take this advice.
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This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.
I noticed that you are near my office in Burbank.
Since your profile reads that you live in Reseda, California, your 341(a) hearing will be in Woodland Hills and the Chapter 7 Trustees will give you a hard time if you transferred a property on the eve of filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. At the 341(a) hearings, one of the questions that are almost always asked is "Have you transferred any properties valued at $5,000 or more in the last four years?" In fact, Nancy Zamora (one of the Chapter 7 Trustee's in Woodland Hills) has a form that you fill out at the 341(a) hearing and one of the questions that you have to respond to, in writing, is the one I just mentioned. If you transfer a property on the eve of filing, the Trustee is going to think you are trying to pull a fast one on them (i.e., hiding an asset).
It's also important to determine if there is equity in the vehicle. If there is no equity in the vehicle, the Chapter 7 Trustee will not pursue that specific asset. But it is best to seek the advice of an attorney after you disclose all information to him/her and they can properly advice you.
Good luck to you!
Jonathan Panossian, Esq.
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