The single most difficult decision in your life has to be the decision to apply for bankruptcy protection. Once you have filed for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy record stays with you for up to 10 years. Your options can be limited because you have filed for bankruptcy, even though legally you should not be discriminated against. Since you cannot control other’s perception of you after you have declared bankruptcy, you should try to safeguard the things under your control, such as your assets. Prior to filing bankruptcy, you should review with your lawyer what assets you can hold through the exemption code and maximize this list of assets as much as possible. Here are some of the line items that you should consider before filing for bankruptcy:
Do not reassign assets to someone else
Just because you have given away the ownership of the assets to someone else, it does not mean that the bankruptcy court cannot go after the questionable assets. If you try to sign away your asset and the bankruptcy finds evidence of such wrongdoing, you are liable of committing bankruptcy fraud. Bankruptcy trustee is there to verify that the information in the bankruptcy petition is precisely represented. Do not cheat the bankruptcy system. Hiding or transferring assets is a big felony and your case can be tossed out of court. You have essentially committed fraud if the bankruptcy trustee proves that you have been trying to hide specific assets from the creditors. If the bankruptcy judge finds that you have committed fraud, there is a good probability that your bankruptcy case will be dismissed.
Your assets can be legally protected using the bankruptcy exemption rule
Every state has its own bankruptcy exemption, please double check with your bankruptcy attorney. Everyone would want to protect as many assets as they can in the bankruptcy process, so make sure that you consult your bankruptcy attorney on the specifics of your state’s exemption rule. As part of the pre-bankruptcy planning, consult with your lawyer to make sure you have lawfully protected your assets. Once the asset has been declared as exempt, it is sheltered from the bankruptcy trustee who is looking to retrieve any non exempt asset for the sake of selling it to pay off the creditors. Assets such as cars, 401(k) or any retirement plan, your favorite stamp collection can be classified as bankruptcy exemption in one shape or another. Since the bankruptcy exemption rule is state specific and quite complex, you should talk to a qualified bankruptcy attorney about your options.
Your bankruptcy lawyer should know every detail of your finances
Some people try to hide assets from their own lawyer in the hope that the bankruptcy trustee will not find these assets. Do not hide anything in your bankruptcy petition. You are better served if you can list everything from assets to liabilities. Do not have the wrong idea that if you don’t list the asset, it will not be found. It is not worth it to commit fraud by hiding the assets from the bankruptcy court and then have your case dismissed.
In short, do not think it is illegal for you to keep the assets you have after you have filed for bankruptcy. Your best bet to keep all the assets legally under the bankruptcy law is to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer. Finding that right bankruptcy lawyer can help you exit the bankruptcy procedure unscathed. For additional information on bankruptcy, please visit ToFileBankrutpcyOrNot.com.
Steve Sanchez has recently overcome the economic depression of 2008-2009 by declaring bankruptcy. Even though bankruptcy has devastated Steve financially and emotionally, Steve has rebuilt his businesses in the last 6 months and he has not looked back since.One of his project is to educate people on bankruptcy. Having gone through the ordeal himself, he has first hand knowledge of the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy protection. Please visit his site http://ToFileBankruptcyOrNot.com if you want additional information regarding bankruptcy.