Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Indiana

Last year I purchased a boat/trailer and had my girlfriend regsiter them in her name since I was considering Bankrupcy at the time. Since then I've recovered financially and avoided a BR and also ended my relationship with the girlfriend. My question is I'm in posssession of the boat/trailer and also have the titles in hand but she is refusing to sign the titles saying she is the rightful owner and is threatening to call the police saying I stole the items. What legal approach can I take? Can I transfer ownership? Please advise

Asked on 5/23/12, 7:53 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Aaron Butler Aaron J. Butler, Attorney at Law

I'm sure you recognize that if you HAD filed bankruptcy, the boat and trailer would still be in your girlfriend's name, and you still wouldn't be able to get them back. The fact that you have recovered financially is a good thing, but it isn't relevant to whether or not you own this property.

I am concerned that your post hints at an attempt to mislead your creditors/bankruptcy court; However, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and interpret your act as a true gift, since that is the legal effect anyway. As you say, your intention in transferring ownership to your girlfriend was to avoid owning property that could be attached by your creditors, in case you fell into hard times.

Legally,you made an irrevocable gift to your girlfriend, one that has nothing to do with whether or not you remain romantically involved with her. There is no other way of characterizing it that will not get you into more legal trouble than it solves.

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Answered on 5/23/12, 9:11 am

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