I'm thinking that I'm headed for bankruptcy. Is there anything I can legally do to protect any of my assets?

If you file bankruptcy, you cannot avoid liability for fraud. In particular, anything you do with your assets intended to "hinder, delay or defraud" your creditors will get you into trouble. More trouble than it is worth.

That said, Florida in particular offers a wide range of exemptions. An asset is said to be "exempt" if it is protected and you are allowed to keep it after your bankruptcy. Examples include: your primary residence (homestead), your head of household wages, Social Security benefits, retirement accounts and more. While you may not transfer your assets to relatives, friends or other insiders, you may legally transfer some or all of your nonexempt assets into otherwise exempt categories.

Furthermore, during the time period preceding the last 90 days before you file bankruptcy, you are permitted to selectively pay legitimate creditors; so you can pay for things that you know you need or want to keep after bankruptcy. One example might be prepaying annual taxes.

These strategies have plenty of caveats and gotchas. If you have assets that need to be protected then you should contact a smart bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible and as far ahead of filing as possible.

Jeff Childers specializes in complex bankruptcies where there are assets, or where litigation is likely. Call us today at 352-335-0400 for a no-cost initial consultation.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.