Fraudulent Conveyance: How a Land Trust Protects You

A fraudulent conveyance happens when someone illegally transfers assets or property into someone else’s name, such as spouse, friend or family member, or even a business partner, in an attempt to avoid creditors. If they are selling your property or other assets to someone they know for an insignificant amount of money, they are either trying to evade creditors or trying to keep the property or assets out of the reach of a creditor.

Let’s look at how to make sense of fraudulent conveyance and the land trust.

Are You Going to be Sued?

If you are going to be taken to court soon, there are ways to protect yourself and your property and assets legally:

  • Have your car, house and property properly insured.
  • Create a land trust to hold your property and assets.
  • Form an LLC or a regular corporation to keep your business assets safe.
  • Open and contribute to a retirement account.
  • Take advantage of the real estate protection laws that are in place for something like this.

Proving You Are Not Doing a Fraudulent Conveyance

There are certain things the courts will look at when deciding whether or not you are potentially commiting the illegal act of a fraudulent conveyance:

  • Did the person doing the transfer become unable to pay their debts because of the transfer?
  • Did the transferor receive enough money in exchange during the transfer?
  • Was the transfer made to a really close friend or family member?
  • Does the transferor still have the rights to the property or the benefits from it?
  • Did they get threatened to be sued?
  • What was going on with their financial situation before, during, and after the transfer?
  • Were a lot of transactions made after the person who owes money to creditors money problems started?
  • When did any of these events take place?
  • Was the transfer private or secretive?
  • Was the transfer different from the usual business actions?

The solution to the problem of fraudulent conveyance is to act before one of these “warning signs” happens. A land trust with an LLC as beneficiary can help you protect yourself before you are taken to court. You want to ensure everything is done legally, however, because if they can prove a fraudulent transfer was made, you will be in some major trouble, legally speaking.

Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.

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