You have been working for years to accumulate the assets that you depend on for you and your family’s security. But safeguarding your assets, and thus your financial security, requires diligence and attention.
Life happens, and if you are not in a constant state of awareness, you may find yourself in a situation where your hard earned business and personal assets are in danger. These commonly include:
- Claims from creditors
- Liability claims
- Tax claims
- Medical bills
The law allows various strategies that can provide protection for your assets. Having an experienced attorney advising you is the best way to ensure that you are taking full advantage of the available legal strategies.
Choosing Asset Protection Strategies for Every Eventuality
The greater your assets, the more important it is to have appropriate strategies in place to protect them. Many situation-specific options are available. Having sufficient insurance is perhaps the most basic and effective strategy to protect yourself and your business from personal injury and other liability claims. Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial contracts can be used to separate certain assets from the property to be distributed in a divorce under New Jersey’s equitable distribution law. In estate planning and certain other situations, creating various types of trusts can shield assets from tax obligations.
Limiting Liability to Protect Your Business Assets
Selecting the right type of business entity is an important business decision and a means to protect your assets. Whereas once upon a time the only entity that could limit your personal liability was a corporation, today you have many other options, including the Limited Liability Company (LLC) and some types of partnerships, in addition to closely held corporations and publicly traded corporations.
When you operate your business through an entity that offers limited liability, it reduces your exposure to personal injury claims and claims from creditors. In some cases, it may be beneficial to create multiple limited liability entities within your business. These structures can be relatively simple or extremely complex, depending on the nature and complexity of the business. As a simple example, a building contractor may create another limited liability company that owns construction equipment, which it leases to the contractor. The equipment is then protected from any liability claim against the contractor.
Asset Protection in Bankruptcy or Foreclosure
In today’s challenging economy, many individuals and business are finding that their assets are being threatened by unmanageable debt. This is a time when having the right attorney can be of invaluable help. This assistance is available in Cape May and Atlantic Counties at the law firm of Barnes Law Group, LLC.
If foreclosure threatens your personal or business assets and you are being hounded by creditors, the attorneys at Barnes Law Group, LLC can bring collection and foreclosure efforts to a grinding halt. We will examine your total financial picture and determine the best legal asset protection and debt relief strategies available to you, including debt negotiation and in some cases, bankruptcy protection.
If your debt load has become unmanageable, some form of bankruptcy protection may be your best option for getting debt collectors off your back and providing you with an opportunity for a fresh start. We have helped many clients file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Filing bankruptcy immediately stops all collection and actions. The law allows certain assets to be exempted in bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy allows you to keep all your property and establishes a debt repayment schedule; Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to retain many assets, although some others may be surrendered to the bankruptcy trustee to liquidate to repay creditors.
If you are facing an impending foreclosure on your home, your attorney can help you by renegotiating the terms of your mortgage or negotiating with your lender to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure or, in some cases, to approve a short sale for less than the balance owed.
Other Types of Debt Relief to Protect Your Assets
At Barnes Law Group, LLC, our New Jersey asset protection attorneys are often able to negotiate a lower payoff with creditors holding unsecured debt, and can often work a deal to reduce the amount of secured debt, for example when a property or vehicle’s value has been reduced to less than the amount of the outstanding note.
Asset protection strategies are many and varied, and need to be directed to your specific circumstances and entire financial profile. At Barnes Law Group, LLC, we are thoroughly experienced in identifying and implementing multiple strategies in an individualized asset protection plan to meet your individual needs. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Let us help you design your comprehensive asset protection plan today.