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    Joint Brokerage Account

    Hi all -

    Question... I'm filing chapter 7 this week and while doing the paperwork I realized I had set up an E-Trade account for my girlfriend's minor son several years ago. I'd forgotten about it until now. It's in his mom's and my name. Anyway, is this something I "could" now remove my name from? Or is it too late in the game and would be considered "questionable", if I did so? I honestly just set it up for him - she funded it, and I've had nothing to do with it except setting it up for them, because she didn't know how.

    I'm guessing I'm supposed to list this as an asset, regardless, because my name is on it? I'm probably ok in any event, as there is only a few thousand dollars in it and in my state (CA) I will still be covered by the exemptions, and considered a no-asset case. Because my name is on the account, would the entire balance be considered mine? Or only half?

    Out of curiosity... if it was not listed under my assets, is this something that would be "discovered" during the bk?

    Thoughts? Thanks!!!

    - JC

    #2
    If it's just a custodial account, then it is not your account. Since it's not your account then it is not an asset of the bankruptcy estate. If I recall correctly, there is a spot on the Statement of Financial Affairs (SOFA) that includes whether you are "holding" property for another person. That is where it would be listed.

    Just make sure that it is disclosed that you are the custodian on a minor's account.

    Can it be discovered? Possibly if the Trustee performs an asset report through LexisNexis and other services which may can disclose the existence of banking relationships. I don't know if every Trustee is going to spend time doing a full asset search, but that depends on the individual debtor. It's better to disclose than for the Trustee to find out that you knowingly hid an account as that may lead to a referral to the "other side" of the courthouse.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you! Yes, I definitely want to stay on the correct side of the courthouse.

      Silly question, I know. Even if it had to be considered an asset of mine, I'll still be able to exempt it.

      Thank you for taking the time to help me!

      - JC

      Comment


        #4
        It's not your asset if it's a custodial account. So long as you didn't commingle funds, it should be easy to distinguish as not your property.
        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

        Comment

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