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Motorcycle owed by my, operated by a friend going through BK, can they take it?

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  • Question: Motorcycle owed by my, operated by a friend going through BK, can they take it?

    Ok - bit of a story, but it'll give you an idea of whats going on. Good friend of, married for 25+ years just had his wife leave him this December. No warning, no discussion, just told him she wasn't happy, was with somebody else, end of the story. Cut contact with her three young adult (19, 23, 26yr old) children. This is a very dear friend to me, a second father to myself and more importantly my wife who's biological jerk-off never gave anything but pain. This has been a pretty hard hit for him, he was good family man that poured all of his being into his family, always gave up the best for his wife and kids, worked 2 jobs and all the overtime available, a real good guy - an example to me for sure. Now he's going through initiating bankrupcy as his wife left him w/ a house an stack of bills that can't be handled on one income. No divorce as yet, but that may be looming on the horizon as well.

    Now, he has always wanted a motorcycle. Raced dirt-bikes very well as a teenager, never was able to own the Harley Sportster he's always wanted. Myself, my wife, my best friend and his wife, as well as his kids who we're all close with bought a used Sportster for him. We figure the guy has had nothing but a crap year - he deserves something to put a grin back on his face.

    Now knowing his situation I didn't think we want to register this bike under his name - between an ongoing bancrupcy and a possible divorce that could potential present all sorts of complications - I instead registered it to myself, and just give it to him to ride/use until he's clear of all that, and then will transfer the paperwork to him once he's passed all that. I was able to add him to my insurance as an additional operator.

    He's had the bike about two weeks, loves its, big smiles all the time. Today he calls, all shaken up. He told his BK lawyer what we had done, and they seem to think that it will have implications on his BK, and may be siezed or something like that. Now, this is not his motorcycle in any legal sense, my name on the title, and registration. It is kept at his residence, and he operates it, but I don't see that they could take this or use it against him, can they? I know nothing about this, but I know he called me today asking for the title to bring to his lawyer so they can review it. Anything I should do, or know about them, or is he just being blustered on this one, and is gonna be ok as far as the bike is concerned? I really appreciate your thoughts.

    - Andrew

  • #2
    I hope he gets to keep the bike. Since it was registered to you from the very beginning, I think you have the best chance. If it was in his name, then you transferred it to your name, that would be trouble.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JoeBankrupt33 View Post
      I hope he gets to keep the bike. Since it was registered to you from the very beginning, I think you have the best chance. If it was in his name, then you transferred it to your name, that would be trouble.
      What grounds would they have to even claim that its his at all, other than he operates it? So do I, I jump on it and take it a for a spin, taken it to work a few times, etc.

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      • #4
        Take your paperwork, title, and insurance and make a trip to your friends BK attorney and let him KNOW that YOU OWN THE BIKE, not your friend. That is just on loan at the present time.

        I'm aware that your friend will own the bike in the future, but presently it still belongs to you and the Trustee can't take it from you.

        More than likely your friend told lawyer - I have a bike, but its not mine....... They just want proof that its not in his name, and it shouldn't be put on his BK papers.''

        Keep us posted.
        Minny

        "It's amazing the paths that our feet sometimes follow in life".

        My suggestions are from "personal experience" and research only. Do not consider this as legal advice. Each bankruptcy case is different.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Minnymouth View Post
          Take your paperwork, title, and insurance and make a trip to your friends BK attorney and let him KNOW that YOU OWN THE BIKE, not your friend. That is just on loan at the present time.

          I'm aware that your friend will own the bike in the future, but presently it still belongs to you and the Trustee can't take it from you.

          More than likely your friend told lawyer - I have a bike, but its not mine....... They just want proof that its not in his name, and it shouldn't be put on his BK papers.''

          Keep us posted.
          Sounds about right, I'm going to sit down with him tonight, and we'll work out how to handle this, I'm very comfortable walking in on his BK lawyer with the title and registration with my name on it and explaining he's riding my bike as a courteous, but has no legal ownership. I appreciate the insight - I'd be happy to hear any other thoughts you all may have. I belong to quite a few car, motorcycle, and musician type forums, its pretty cool to learn there is even a forum full of people helping each other through junk like BK. This is definetly a good resource that I'll hopefully never need, but you never know what lies ahead.

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          • #6
            Isn't there a place on the forms where you can list property of another person that is in your possesion?

            I think I did that with my car, which is titled in my exs name, but I drive.

            Don't own it, and not on title.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dingdong View Post
              Isn't there a place on the forms where you can list property of another person that is in your possesion?

              I think I did that with my car, which is titled in my exs name, but I drive.

              Don't own it, and not on title.
              Yes there is. My dad has a trailer that he stores at our house so we put it on our petition. There were no issues with it at all.

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