Protecting Assets in Bankruptcy
The decision to file bankruptcy is one of the most difficult and important ones an individual or business can make. While bankruptcy is often the best option for a fresh start and a clean slate, it is very rarely painless. No matter what type of bankruptcy you file, it more often than not negates the physical results of what can be a lifetime of work.
In most cases, a significant portion of your assets may be taken and sold, or at the least restructured. And while the stigma of bankruptcy has significantly lessened as more and more individuals and companies utilize the legal financial tool, the reality of the loss of property can be difficult to take. Luckily, there are options and practices that can be put in place to help protect as many of your existing assets as possible.
Let Bunch & Brock Help
If you are considering bankruptcy as an option for your personal or business finances, contact Bunch & Brock, Attorneys at Law, and let us help. For more than 35 years, we’ve served our community’s legal needs from offices in Lexington, Ky., with clients that range from large corporations to individuals. We will evaluate your situation and help you find what is best for both you and your business. We have experience in all facets of bankruptcy, especially in practices to protect as many assets as legally possible; our seasoned bankruptcy attorneys will be glad to explain, and help you set up, your different options. We have the knowledge, experience and resources to help. If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us today at 859.469.4821.
What is an Asset?
An asset is essentially any resource with economic value that is owned or controlled by an individual, company or state. A business asset essentially has a redeemable value; it serves primarily as a form of currency, in that it can be sold or exchanged for currency or other assets. For individuals, the definition remains the same, for the most part. However, the value of a personal asset often goes far beyond its financial worth. For example, an heirloom ring from a great-grandmother may be worth a thousand dollars, but to the descendant who possesses the ring, it is priceless.
Examples of assets include:
- Retirement savings
- Work tools
- Benefits, such as welfare, disability, veteran’s benefits, etc.
Ways to Protect Assets in Kentucky
There are several ways to protect assets during bankruptcy, but one of the most effective is by taking advantage of exemptions. Exemptions are written into statutes and essentially define what may be kept during a bankruptcy. Both state and federal laws address exemptions, and, depending on the state, exemptions may be applied according to federal statutes, those of the state, or a combination of both. In Kentucky, an individual or company filing for bankruptcy may choose to use either the federal or state exemptions.
The exemptions available to a bankruptcy filer also depend on the type of bankruptcy they choose — Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 13 typically allows people to keep more of their assets, as it is best thought of as a restructuring of debt. Chapter 7 often involves the liquidation of some assets, though it’s not true that you will “lose everything” when using this type of bankruptcy.
There are many tools available to help filers keep many of their assets during bankruptcy. Bankruptcy law can be complex, but if you know the law, you’ll be better equipped to find ways to protect your assets. This is why many people turn to experienced bankruptcy attorneys to handle the process. Experience and familiarity with the law is invaluable when filing for bankruptcy.
Do I Need Counsel?
There is no legal requirement to hire an attorney to file for bankruptcy, and forms and advice are available online. However, an attorney may be indispensable for you to take full advantage of the law and get the most benefit from bankruptcy. An experienced attorney not only can make the proceedings smoother and easier, but his knowledge of the rules and exemptions can allow you to fully use the law to your advantage. A seasoned bankruptcy attorney will explain all of your options and ensure that you enjoy the fresh start intended by the bankruptcy laws.
If you are filing for bankruptcy and would like assistance in protecting your assets and getting the most out of the proceedings, contact Bunch & Brock, Attorneys at Law, in Lexington, Ky., as soon as possible. With more than 35 years of experience, Bunch & Brock has the knowledge, resources and experience to assist you with your legal needs. If you have questions about bankruptcy or would like to set up an appointment, contact us online or call us today at 859.469.4821.