Post-Bankruptcy: Can I Own Land in My Own Name After Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? - Westgate Law

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Post-Bankruptcy: Can I Own Land in My Own Name After Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Many filing bankruptcy wonder whether or not it’s possible to put property in their own name after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Others assume that there’s a waiting period for owning property in their own name post-bankruptcy.

If you’re wondering how long you have to wait to put your name on property after you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, any southern California bankruptcy expert is going to have two questions for you before they can give you any advice:

  1. Did you own this land prior to filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
  2. If you did own the land/property, did you list it in your schedule of assets in the bankruptcy paperwork?

The reason any experience southern California bankruptcy attorney would immediately respond with questions is due to the fact that intentionally keeping an asset and “waiting” to put your name on it after you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive your discharge of debt, is illegal. Having said that, if you acquire an asset after filing, you don’t have to notify the bankruptcy trustee (with a few exceptions).

Bankruptcy fraud is taken very seriously. One California bankruptcy petitioner whipped through the process, received her discharge of debt and was so impressed with how easy it was to manipulate the system that she called into a local radio show to brag about it. She even stated on the air that she didn’t even list all of her vehicles or bank accounts. After the show the FBI contacted her. She was later found guilty of bankruptcy fraud and subsequently spent some time in Club Fed.

Hopefully, you haven’t committed any similar acts of blatant disregard of southern California bankruptcy law.

If, on the other hand, you’ve simply acquired the property post-bankruptcy, and are now wondering if putting your name on property post-bankruptcy is problematic, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You’re allowed to own property in your name post-bankruptcy. As soon as the bankruptcy case closes, you can behave in the same way you did before bankruptcy.

The common bankruptcy case will be open for four to six months. Make sure that you’ve received your Discharge of Debtor notice and that the case is closed before you put any land or property into your name. You can confirm your discharge/bankruptcy case closure with your southern California bankruptcy attorney or the bankruptcy clerk’s office.

If you have more questions regarding the ownership of property post-bankruptcy, get in touch with the bankruptcy attorneys at Westgate Law.

About the Author

Justin Harelik

Justin has a singular goal: to get people out of financial distress and move them to financial stability and prosperity. He does this by combining 15 years of in-depth experience in bankruptcy, credit management, debt negotiation and student loan modifications, and he does it with both English and Spanish-speaking clients.

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