One of the questions that everyone filing bankruptcy has to answer is whether they've transferred any property in the 2 years before filing their case. Essentially, this question wants to know whether you've sold or otherwise gotten rid of anything in the 2 years before your bankruptcy was filed. The question does not apply if you're in the business of selling items.
Here are some common examples of transfers listed here:
- Cars: It doesn't matter if you sold the car for money or simply took your name off the title for a car you don’t consider your own; if your name was on the car title and it no longer is, you will have to provide the court with information about it. This is true even if you never considered the car to be "your car" and had your name on the title for some other reason.
- Items you had around the house: If you sold something on Craigslist, eBay, OfferUp, or just to your neighbor next door - list it. If you had a yard sale where you sold a whole bunch of stuff - list it. Since it can be tedious to keep track of every single item you sold at a yard sale, just let the court know that you sold miscellaneous household goods and estimate how much you received in total. If you had any big ticket items - things that went for more than $100 at the yard sale, list it separately.
- Bank accounts: If your name used to be on a bank account - like a joint account with your parent or child - and you took your name off the account, list it. While it may not be a "transfer" in the traditional sense of the word because you never deposited any money into the account in the first place, it's still important to disclose this.
- Transfers due to a divorce: If you transferred the property to your ex-spouse because the divorce decree told you to - that's a transfer that has to be listed.
Here are some other ways to look at this question that my help you figure out if you need to list something here:
You used to have something that pretty much everyone has, but you no longer have it. For example, if your bankruptcy forms show that you don't have any furniture, the trustee is going to look at your Statement of Financial Affairs. Assuming the fact that you had a yard sale or that all your furniture went to your ex as part of the divorce (whatever the case may be) is listed here, this will make sense for the trustee. If the question about transfers is left blank, the trustee is going to wonder if you're trying to hide something.
Did you need money to make ends meet over the last two years and may have sold something? Check your bank statements for odd deposits that don't coincide with your payday.
Did you sign paperwork in the last 2 years to deal with certain property? Chances are, if you needed to sign documents about something, a transfer of some kind happened.
If in doubt - list it. Worst case scenario: You list something that wasn't actually a transfer of property. Worst case scenario if you leave out a transfer: The trustee thinks you're hiding something.