Can I Sign a Quitclaim Deed to My Ex-Spouse After I File Bankruptcy?

By Beverly Bird

You can use a quitclaim deed to sign over your property to anyone you like -- before or after bankruptcy -- but this doesn't mean the person you give the deed to will actually receive the property. A quitclaim deed makes no promise whatsoever that you own what you're transferring. But after you've filed for bankruptcy, you don't have a right to transfer your property to someone else, so a quitclaim deed to your ex would be worthless.

The Bankruptcy Estate

When you file for bankruptcy, your assets make up your bankruptcy estate. This includes your home if your name is on the existing deed. Therefore, it falls under the control of the bankruptcy trustee for possible liquidation to pay your debts. You have no right to give it away, nor can you quitclaim it to your ex before you file for bankruptcy. She would be considered an "insider," so you can't turn assets over to her within a year before you declare bankruptcy. If you must transfer the property to her according to the terms of your divorce decree, speak with a lawyer. You may have to wait a year after the transfer to file for bankruptcy.

Trustee's Avoidance Powers

If you sign a quitclaim deed to your ex, your bankruptcy trustee can file a lawsuit against her to take the property back to include in your bankruptcy estate. The trustee can reclaim the property and – if you filed for Chapter 7 – liquidate your interest in it to pay your debts.

Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More
Get a free, confidential bankruptcy evaluation. Learn More
Can the Bankruptcy Trustee Force the Sale of an Inherited Property?


Related articles

Can a Chapter 7 Be Filed if a Debt Has Placed a Lien Against You?

You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a creditor has placed a lien against your property, but bankruptcy can provide relief from liens only if you take additional action after you file. Otherwise, liens often are not affected by the bankruptcy. Even when you are willing to take additional action to deal with liens in your bankruptcy, not all liens can be removed or reduced. It depends on the type of lien it is and the property it is attached to.

How to Benefit From a Trust in Bankruptcy

If you learn you're the beneficiary of a trust soon after you file for bankruptcy protection, it may be too late to protect your inheritance. Your bankruptcy trustee can, and probably will, direct you to relinquish your share of trust assets to your creditors to pay off some or all of your debts. It’s not a hopeless situation, however. If you act before you inherit and before you file, you might still benefit from the trust.

Can Bankruptcy Clear My Ex Spouse's Debts After Divorce?

When a couple divorces, the court issues a divorce decree that divides assets and debts between the spouses, but either spouse can file bankruptcy after the divorce. If your ex-spouse files bankruptcy rather than paying the debts assigned to him in the divorce, you may have to deal with creditors of joint debts on which you are still listed.


Related articles

Getting a Heir's Name on a Deed

You may decide as part of your estate planning to deed an interest in your property to an heir prior to your death to ...

What Happens When You Reaffirm a Vehicle After Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy allows you to get a fresh start financially, clearing up debts by paying some and dismissing others. Filing ...

How to Remove a Trustee From a Deed

When property is held in a trust estate, the appointed trustee generally holds title as representative of the trust for ...

If My Boyfriend & I Have a House With Rights of Survivorship, Can I File Bankruptcy?

When you own property jointly with someone else, your actions can have a serious impact on your partner's property, but ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED