Preserving Assets in Bankruptcy

Are you looking for debt relief and have questions about preserving assets in bankruptcy? Watch this video by experienced Jamestown bankruptcy attorney Scott Humble to learn more.

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Protecting assets in bankruptcy is a hot topic. One of the most asked questions by clients when they walk in the door are how many of my assets am I going to be able to protect and keep after filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The answer, at least my goal is when you walk in that door, is to protect everything, 100% absolute, positively, the whole nine yards. Now, Chapter 13 is designed to go and do that: save your house, save your car, the typical assets, same with Chapter 7. As long as we’ve got enough exemption power to go and protect those assets, they’ll be protected otherwise we’ll file Chapter 13 for you.

What I’m trying to work up to is the exceptions and that would be something that the court considers, the judge considers, luxuries. You file a Chapter 13 and you have a vehicle that is worth too much money that can be a luxury. Harley Davidson or any motorcycle can be considered a luxury, a boat, definitely a luxury, airplane, definitely a luxury.

In the context of a Chapter 13, what the court is going to have you do is pay the unsecured creditors a little bit higher. Normally we start at 5%; they’re going to want more than 5%, if you want to keep a luxury. What I try to do is, unless it’s a different situation, have clients consider giving up that luxury so that they can go and take care of this financial problem, a slam-dunk kind of situation. Not have to go and be on the ropes because they have to pay extra, not only on the boat but unsecured creditors.

Now Chapter 7 is a little bit different. I tell every client what walks in the door and we talk about a motorcycle or a boat, I haven’t had the time of talking about an airplane for quite a while or something like that, but boats, pull trailers, I hear about this all the time. I go and I tell the clients upfront. It hasn’t happened yet, as far as being a problem, but they definitely are luxuries and at any time the US Trustee, the policeman of the system, can go and step in and say, “Look, you’re going and spending this money – let’s say $350 a month plus insurance – on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, whereas you could be paying creditors over $350. That’s a problem; we want you to convert to a Chapter 13.”

Now, I have never, ever seen that happen on any of my cases. In fact, it has happened on any of my cases that I can think of. One time that it did happen when another attorney didn’t go and do a good job on the budget, the income and expenses that you have. I’m extremely particular about your income and expenses, as disclosed to the court. I go over very specifically with them. They have to be, I wouldn’t say on a razor’s edge, but it has to be not too much and not too little, and that’s what you’re hiring me to do is to make it so that your case is going to work.

If you or someone you love is seeking debt relief and has questions about protecting assets in bankruptcy, contact us today to arrange a free confidential consultation with dedicated Jamestown bankruptcy lawyer Scott F. Humble. Let his 30+ years of experience work for you.

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