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Don’t Give Away Cash or Property to Family and Friends Prior to Filing for Bankruptcy

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If you are considering bankruptcy and have an asset that may be of value and that may not be exempt in that bankruptcy case, it would be wise to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you transfer it to another person or entity.

Transferring assets to anyone prior to filing bankruptcy can result in the loss of the bankruptcy discharge, the loss of the asset or even jail time and fines under certain circumstances. In other words, the law has already “thought of that”.

Congress enacted specific provisions in the bankruptcy code (see sect. 548) which allows
a bankruptcy trustee to undo a transfer made within 2 years of the bankruptcy filing date. Anyone who “received” the transferred property for free or for less then it was worth, can be “sued” by the trustee for a return of the property.

The purpose of the law should be obvious and it makes sense to protect creditors in this way as a matter of public policy.