Disposing of Assets Could be Criminal

August 28, 2012

With the economy as it is, more Americans are in debt than ever before. Bankruptcies are up, and creditors are taking legal action to collect on debts.

For a person facing action from creditors, it might be tempting to transfer, give away or otherwise dispose of assets. A debtor might transfer title of her car to a family member, for example, if she fears the asset could become the target of creditors.

Anyone in this situation should be mindful of California’s fraudulent conveyance laws. These laws can make it criminal to get rid of assets just for the purpose of keeping creditors from getting that property to settle a debt.

Not all transfers of property by a debtor constitute a fraudulent conveyance. But some do, and can trigger civil and criminal liability. Your wisest course of action is to seek the counsel of a good criminal defense attorney before doing anything that might fall in the realm of fraudulent conveyance.