Preparing for Bankruptcy: Protecting my Assets
Bankruptcy is a huge life event. You should prepare for it just as you would any other milestone, even though this probably isn’t as happy as a wedding or a birthday. You should put thought into it and be ready for what is about to come your way. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can walk you through the process, but you should also do some homework and be prepared.
Remember, asset protection is NOT hiding your assets. It’s certainly not giving your jewelry to your sister “to hold” until your bankruptcy proceedings are over. This is illegal and if you are caught hiding assets, the court can deny your bankruptcy and recover that asset. Asset protection is more about organizing which assets will and will not fall under the safety that the law provides.
When you file for bankruptcy, there are exemptions to shield some of your assets. State and federal exemptions protect your assets in different ways—this is why it’s so important to have a bankruptcy attorney help you decide which way to proceed.
Certain assets may not be fully protected by either state or federal exemptions. These include:
- Personal injury damages
- Workers’ comp settlements
- Social Security Disability Insurance benefits
- Whole life insurance policies
- Equity in your home
Here are some assets that may be protected:
- Your home
- Tax-exempt retirement funds
- Your vehicle (if you owe more than the car is valued)
- Term life insurance policies
- College savings
It’s important to understand all the facts before filing for bankruptcy. Harold Shepley & Associates is a full service debt relief law firm and can answer any questions you may have about debt, assets, and bankruptcy. Contact us today at 1-866-284-7062 or visit us at www.shepleylaw.com to find out more information on your debt relief options