Mark Twain said, “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” That wisdom was driven home in the recent Ontario case McGoey (re), in which a bankrupt tried to prove that two properties registered in his name were actually held by him in trust for someone else, and therefore were not available to his creditors. He produced two trust deeds showing this.

Unfortunately for the bankrupt, the 1995 trust document was typed using a font called “Cambria”, which was not released to the public until 2007. Similarly, the 2004 trust document was typed using a font called “Calibri”, which also was not released to the public until 2007.

These facts, plus some others, made it straightforward for the court to conclude that the two trust documents were shams and the properties were available to the bankruptcy estate for the benefit of creditors.

Attacking creditor-proofing transactions can involve typological detective work as well as investigating the other usual “badges of fraud,” and experienced advice is essential. Consult a lawyer with experience in this area when facing a questionable transaction. 

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