Do I Need To Consider An Asset Protection Strategy If I File For Bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy is an extremely complicated process, and you should seek assistance from a bankruptcy attorney from the start. When you are planning to file for bankruptcy, your bankruptcy lawyer can provide you with detailed information about how the bankruptcy process works, and how your current assets will be handled (depending upon the type of bankruptcy for which you are planning to file). You may be wondering: Do I need to consider an asset protection strategy if I file for bankruptcy? In general, there are only limited ways in which you can protect assets in a liquidation bankruptcy, while you will not likely need to consider the issue of asset protection in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. Our West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys can provide you with more information.
Bankruptcy Exemptions in a Chapter 7 Case
If you are planning to file for liquidation bankruptcy under Chapter 7, asset protection is possible through bankruptcy exemptions. As a bankruptcy filer in West Palm Beach, you will need to use the bankruptcy exemptions set forth under the Florida Statutes. There are a wide variety of exemptions that exist under Florida law, including an extremely generous homestead exemption, multiple kinds of personal property exemptions, exemptions for retirement savings, and other types of exemptions.
Any property that qualifies for one of the exemptions cited in the Florida statutes means that asset will be “exempt” in your bankruptcy case, which means that it will not be liquidated and you will be able to keep it. If you have questions about what exemptions are likely to apply to your property, you should get in touch with a bankruptcy lawyer who can help.
Assets Will Not Be Liquidated in a Chapter 13 Case
If you are planning to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will not need to spend time focusing on asset protection since this type of bankruptcy does not involve any liquidation. To be clear, your assets will not be liquidated in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Avoiding Bankruptcy Fraud Allegations
If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and want to protect assets that are not exempt under Florida law, you may not have any options. It is critical to avoid taking any steps that could lead to allegations of bankruptcy fraud. For example, transferring assets to a friend or family member, or attempting to conceal assets by failing to disclose them in your bankruptcy filing, could lead to allegations of bankruptcy fraud. If you are accused of bankruptcy fraud, not only will you be ineligible for a bankruptcy discharge, but you could face criminal consequences, as well.
Before you take any steps to gift assets before a bankruptcy case, or to file your bankruptcy petition, you should seek assistance from a bankruptcy lawyer in South Florida.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Lawyers
When you are planning to file for bankruptcy and have questions or concerns about how the bankruptcy filing will impact your assets, you should get in touch with a bankruptcy lawyer who can help. One of the experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys at Kelley, Fulton, Kaplan & Eller can speak with you today.