Palm Desert, CA asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for California

Q: Should I lower my ownership interest in a condo from 30 to 1 percent if I might go bankrupt? Will creditors catch that?

My parents are scared I might go bankrupt in a couple years. I own 30% of a condo worth 75 grand and have credit card debt of 55 grand. They want me to take my name off the deed in which they own the other 70% and have a side agreement with them. Should I agree to take my name off the deed or lower my ownership interest to only one percent? Can creditors in a couple years see that I lowered my ownership interest and force the sale of the condo? Please let me know if you have any questions.

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3 Lawyer Answers

Ronald Holland

  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Roseville, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: i see that you have asked this question before in a different way.

All assets that you own or have a right to must be listed in a bankruptcy filing.

Transfer of an interest in property is subject to a trustee recovering (reversing the transaction) for up to (or maybe beyond) 2 years prior to the filing date.

So if you own 1% or 30%, you must list that and you must be able to exempt your interest or the trustee can take it.

Additionally, if you transfer, for example, 29% within two years of filing, the trustee can get to that property. At that point you can't exempt the recovered assets.

Talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before any of this happens, including the transfer. At that point real values and the actual situation can be discussed and you can get real advice.

Theodore Allan Greene

  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You should consult with a local bankruptcy attorney to find out your options. Transferring ownership the way you propose is not recommended but you still might be able to protect your asset. A more detailed analysis is required and that is why you should contact someone who and evaluate your WHOLE situation.

Timothy Denison

  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY

A: Same answer as other question.

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