When filing bankruptcy, debtors have the right to claim certain assets as exempt from seizure by creditors. Although bankruptcy law does not allow transfers of assets designed to “hinder, delay or defraud” creditors, it does allow debtors to plan for bankruptcy exemptions.
For example, a debtor considering bankruptcy is allowed to plan for the homestead exemption and might be allowed to use non-exempt property to pay down a home mortgage before filing for bankruptcy under certain circumstances. A debtor might also be allowed to transfer non-exempt assets to other exempt assets such as a retirement account or a child’s college fund.
It is important to emphasize that all exemption planning must be done without any intention to “hinder, delay or defraud” creditors.
Often, debtors unknowingly “giveaway” too much of their assets to creditors without protecting the financial stability of their family. Failing to save for retirement, pay healthcare or maintain a home for your family because you are trying to repay debt is not something that the bankruptcy court expects you to do. Bankruptcy is designed to give debtors a fresh start, not put them deeper into the hole by taking all or most of their assets.
If you’re considering bankruptcy and want to protect your family’s assets by increasing the amount of your exempt assets talk to a bankruptcy attorney today.