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No Title on Car – How and Where do I list the vehicle in the Bankruptcy Petition?

Facts: Debtor’s name is not on car’s title.  Rather, a friend’s name is on title.  Also, the vehicle loan is in another’s name.  But debtor possesses and daily drives the vehicle.  He also pays the loan payments.

How and where does the debtor list the vehicle on the bankruptcy petition?

You ought to consider listing the car on Schedule B (Personal Property) with a notation that the vehicle is not in debtor's name, but he has possession and makes all payments.  Also disclose the loan / lien amount and payment terms.  Debtor arguably has an equitable interest in this vehicle, and that type of interest must be disclosed, even if he does not have title to the car.  

But if Debtor is never going to receive title, and is, in reality, renting the vehicle from the friend, then instead of Schedule B, list the car rental agreement in Schedule G (Executory Contracts and Unexpired Leases).

One might alternatively elect to describe the transaction as a "rent to own" type of arrangement if appropriate.

If the vehicle is listed in Schedule B, it also should be listed in Schedule C (Property Claimed as Exempt) and claimed as exempt (protected from Chapter 7 liquidation) to the extent possible.

Also list the monthly loan installment payments as an expense on Schedule J.

Further, you should list the vehicle at "14. Property Held for Another Person" in the Statement of Financial Affairs (SOFA). 

But if Debtor makes the payments with the understanding and/or agreement that he will eventually own the vehicle, then listing as "Property Held for Another Person" is arguably not accurate or appropriate.

Important: Situations like the above are fact dependent.  Therefore, depending on all of the facts and circumstances, various listing strategies and/or requirements must and/or should be employed.  But the most important thing is to, at minimum, disclose the facts somewhere on the bankruptcy petition.   See also: Do I have to Disclose All of My Property and Assets?

See also: Listing Legal Claims and Lawsuits.

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 Disclaimer

Under the new bankruptcy laws, Christian attorney, Matthew Tozer is a debt relief agency because he helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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