July 24, 2017

Keep Your Car After Bankruptcy

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked of prospective clients who are considering filing a bankruptcy case is whether they will have to resort to public transit. They have the misperception that their cars will automatically be taken in bankruptcy. Let's set the record straight on how to keep your car after bankruptcy. To do so, you must understand the role of "exempt property" in all … [Read more...]

Marital Property and Bankruptcy: Allocating Exempt Property

Each state has different laws on what is recognized as exempt property, that is, property that is out of the reach of creditors (including bankruptcy trustees). Further, there are federal exemptions. I wrote about this extensively and you may find it helpful reading. Here's the kind of question that occasionally comes up when we counsel a married couple about bankruptcy. Q: The exempt … [Read more...]

Dealing with Creditor Calls at Work

Some of the best advice a bankruptcy attorney can give is about timing: when to file.  In many circumstances, I advise clients to wait until a date certain to file, and to maintain the status quo until then, which often means dealing with a deluge of creditor and bill collector calls until their cases are filed. Don't allow yourself to be railroaded by creditor calls Many clients want and need … [Read more...]

Asset Protection Basics: What You Need to Know if You Owe Debts You Cannot Pay

Many people who want to come in and talk about asset protection are surprised to learn that they have no assets to protect. "How can this be? "I own a car and a house!" Asset protection comes in to play if you own property that has equity above the mortgages owed (called non-exempt property -- property that creditors can reach); or if you anticipate that you may have non-exempt property in the … [Read more...]

Bankruptcy and Undue Hardship Repaying Student Loans

Under the current bankruptcy law, student loans are not dischargeable in a bankruptcy. Whenever I say this I'm always asked about cases of "undue hardship." Experience has taught me that if the debtor is blind, deaf, mute, and is missing all four limbs, there is a small chance that the debtor can show undue hardship and thus have his or her student loans discharged in bankruptcy. In other … [Read more...]

I don’t want to file, but should I?

Some people are not good candidates for bankruptcy, including: Those with too many non-exempt assets; for them, we develop asset planning & protection strategies Those who cannot afford to file bankruptcy Those with no income or who have so few non-exempt assets that they are essentially “judgment proof” Those with finances so complicated by trusts and tax shelters … [Read more...]