My question involves bankruptcy in the state of: Indiana
My wife and I had joint ownership of a vehicle that is without any lien. This was always "her" vehicle and the payments were always drawn from her checking account prior to being paid off. The cars value is now less than $4000. I was served with a summons in Small claims court for an unsecured CC debt several months ago. Receiving the summons caused me to take stock of my assets which brought my attention to the title of the vehicle being in both names. Well, I immediately and hastily transferred, as a gift, my ownership interest in title solely to my wife. My intention was not to shelter my own asset but rather to protect my wife from my legal troubles. Afterall, in my mind, this was her car and I'd only driven it a handful of times in the 6 years she had owned it.
Fast forward to now, with the threat of a small claims judgement a week away I decided to seek the advice of a bankruptcy attorney who informed me that my conveyance of the vehicle to my wife could be a big problem with the bankruptcy trustee and possibly could be an issue with the small claims court if the judgement is entered next week.
This vehicle would have been covered by Indiana's bankruptcy exemptions as well as By the personal property exemptions relating to civil judgements, had I not so stupidly transferred the title to my wife. My hope is that the fact that the vehicle would have already been exempt prior to the conveyance would be evidence enough to prove that my intention was not to defraud the court. At this point, could I simply transfer the title back into both names or my name alone prior to filing ch. 7 in order to resolve the potential fraud and still maintain the personal property exemption?
What options do I really have?