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Protecting Your Assets

Frequently Asked Questions about Asset Protection in Bankruptcy

Can I give things away to my family or friends?

Absolutely not. This is a fraudulent transfer. Your friends or family could get sued by the trustee to recover any such transfer. And if you tried to hide this sort of transfer, you could lose your discharge in bankruptcy and even be prosecuted and face time in jail.

Can I sell my assets?

You can sell assets for fair market value. You will have to disclose the sale and account for what you did with the sale proceeds.

Can I buy things with my money?

You can buy things with your money. But you have to be very careful about changing assets which are not exempt into assets which are exempt. This could be trouble, especially in Illinois.

Can I spend my money?

You can spend your money but you will have to account for your expenditures, especially if they are not normal expenditures.

Can I set up an asset protection trust?

Asset protection trusts will be treated as fraudulent transfers in Illinois and likely also in Wisconsin. Such trusts must be disclosed.

Can I convert assets to non-liquid assets?

This strategy can be successful but must be exercised with great caution. Consult with your Lakelaw attorney about this and disclose any such action you have taken.

Can I hide assets?

Absolutely not. Failure to disclose all assets is contrary to bankruptcy law. You could lose your discharge and might face criminal charges for doing so.

Can you represent me if I hide assets or fail to disclose items on my bankruptcy papers?

We cannot represent you under these circumstances.