Advance Planning Can Protect Your Property and Interests

Planning in advance of filing bankruptcy can provide many benefits. You can arrange your finances in a way that enables you to take full advantage of the available property exemptions. You can preserve your ability to discharge certain types of debts, and you can avoid potentially costly mistakes as well.

At Orantes Law Firm, we provide full-service representation in all aspects of bankruptcy, including pre-bankruptcy planning. In a free consultation, attorney Giovanni Orantes can review your situation and provide you with advice that can save you money and avoid headaches in the future.

Simple Steps That Can Provide Significant Benefits

Although your financial situation may seem impossible, you can still exert control over your future. There are some steps you can take that can place you in a stronger position before you file bankruptcy:

  • Because retirements accounts are exempt property in bankruptcy, making additional 401(k) or IRA contributions can make good sense.
  • Consider making contributions to a 529 educational savings account. These are exempt too.
  • If you have tax debts, make sure you file your taxes on time, even if you cannot pay your current tax bill. Doing so can preserve your ability to discharge tax debts in bankruptcy.
  • If you need a medical procedure that you have been putting off, consider getting that procedure done.
  • If divorce is in your future, talk with a bankruptcy attorney before proceeding with your divorce.
  • Retiring at age 65 rather than earlier can exempt an additional $75,000 of your homestead under the Section 704 exemption schedule.

Things to Avoid 

  • Don’t transfer assets to a relative or friend at a price significantly under their market value.
  • Don’t intentionally run up your credit card balances beyond your normal level of spending.
  • Don’t sign up with a debt consolidation agency. These companies can cost you thousands of dollars, and you will not be protected from foreclosure, repossession or a collection lawsuit.
  • Don’t delay talking with a bankruptcy lawyer. The more you learn about your debt relief options, the better off you will be.