Knowledgeable Attorney Advises Debtors on Bankruptcy Planning
Prudent steps for individuals and businesses throughout California
If you feel you are drowning in debt, it’s easy to push the panic button and rush headlong into bankruptcy. However, debtors who make rash decisions and hasty filings may not get the full benefit of bankruptcy protection they could have gotten through planning with the aid of a knowledgeable attorney. Imagine learning that because you filed too soon, a huge portion of your debt is not dischargeable. On the other hand, questionable actions immediately prior to filing can create suspicion among your creditors and lead to accusations of fraud, which could ruin any hope of discharging your debt.
At the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger in Beverly Hills, I help people facing massive debt get the full protection of bankruptcy law, providing ethical representation and applying skills that I have built up over decades of practice. When you come to me for bankruptcy advice, I’ll help you take prudent, decisive steps to enhance your prospects of a favorable outcome.
Dos and don’ts prior to filing bankruptcy
If you are contemplating Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 11 business bankruptcy, things you do ahead of time can help or hinder your case.
One thing you should never do is run up additional debt in the weeks before filing for bankruptcy. Your creditors, along with the bankruptcy court, will consider debt acquired within 90 days of filing as a fraud against the system. This debt will not be dischargeable and it will cast suspicion on other debt you are hoping to have discharged.
Another inadvisable action is to transfer property to other people. Distressed debtors facing collection litigation might sell property to a friend or relative at well below market value to keep creditors from seizing it. This is done with the understanding that the buyer will sell it back in due time. But this can be considered a fraudulent transfer. Creditors can petition the court to reverse the transfer and then go after the asset.
One thing you’ll want to do is spend down your non-exempt assets while holding onto your exempt assets. Don’t touch your IRA or 401(k), because those are exempt, so bankruptcy won’t affect them. However, if you have a stock portfolio outside of your retirement account, you can sell those stocks and use the proceeds to pay for your ongoing expenses.
Pre-bankruptcy strategies vary depending on a person’s unique circumstances. I provide personalized service, getting to know you and your situation so I can provide advice that is pertinent and effective. My goal is to maximize the legal protection you get from bankruptcy without missteps that draw suspicion and make it more difficult to get the debt discharge you need for a more secure financial future.
Contact a trustworthy California attorney to discuss bankruptcy planning
Located in downtown Beverly Hills, the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger advises debtors on prudent, lawful steps to take before filing for bankruptcy. You have options and I can help you exercise them to get the full benefit of every legal protection possible. To schedule a free consultation, call 310-271-6223 or contact me online today.