Do You Own It? If So, You Must Include It As Part Of Your Bankrupcty

When filing bankruptcy it's important that you include all your assets and debts on your petition. Whether or not you actually own a certain item can be confusing. You need to know the basics for determining if you own it, or if it can be considered someone else's property, even though it's in your possession. Sometimes even an asset titled to you isn't necessarily considered your property. With a few examples, the question of whether you own it can become clearer. 

Borrowed Property

Have you borrowed property from a neighbor, like a power tool, and it is stored in your tool shed? You may have heard that possession makes it yours, but this is not true. Just because you are storing a borrowed item, this does not make it your property, so don't include it as an asset on your bankruptcy petition. 

Cosigner On A Bank Account

If you cosign on an elderly relative's bank account to help them out when it comes to finances, this should not be included in your bankruptcy. This money belongs to your relative. Having access to the the account does make it your asset. 

Property Of Your Children

Property belonging to minor children is not generally included on your bankruptcy, unless it is an expensive item. Minor children are not considered owners of expensive items, such as go-karts, motorized toy vehicles, and other pricey belongings that the child would not own on his or her own. 

Property of Your Teens

Some parents have their name on the title of their teen's car. If your name and the teen's name are both on the title, you can probably convince the bankruptcy trustee that you do not own it. However, if only your name is on the title, even if your teenager paid for his or her own car, you may have difficulty proving that fact. 

If you did buy the car for your teenager, the trustee will insist that you are the owner, even if it isn't in your name. This means the trustee can seize it to sell and pay off creditors. 

Whether or not you actually own an item can be tricky in some instances. For this reason, you need to discuss more complicated items with your bankruptcy attorney from a firm like FactorLaw. He or she knows the laws and can help you determine what property should be included on your bankruptcy petition. Not reporting all your assets is a good way to get your petition denied, so if you need help, don't hesitate to ask questions.