When you find yourself on the brink of filing bankruptcy, you can do some bankruptcy planning, and you should. When filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is important to remember this is a liquidation bankruptcy, so non-exempt assets and funds will be liquidated to pay your creditors. There are times when bankruptcy filers find themselves with more non-exempt assets than originally expected, and rather than have the assets liquidated in the bankruptcy, they decide to spend, sell or use the asset.
How to Handle Non-Exempt Assets in Minnesota
Bankruptcy filers can do this but the asset actually needs to be gone on the day of filing. For example, if a debtor has $10,000 worth of non-exempt stocks rather than having the bankruptcy estate liquidate the stock during the bankruptcy, the debtor can liquidate the stock prior to filing and use the funds.
An Example of Liquidating Non-Exempt Assets
In our example the debtor liquidates his non-exempt stock and uses the $10,000 in the following way: pays for $1,000 worth of propane, pays 6 months ahead on his car payment worth $3,000, buys $1,000 worth of gift cards, gives $2,000 to his daughter, hides $2,000 and uses $1,000 for groceries, bills, other necessities. Has our debtor solved his non-exempt asset problem? No, but he has definitely complicated the situation. The propane, the car payments and the gift cards, are still assets owned by the debtor. He has just converted the asset to something less liquid, but it is still a non-exempt asset owned by the debtor.
Lying About Assets in Minnesota
The hidden funds-it is never a good idea to lie about an asset-you will be asked to testify under oath that you have listed all your assets. And the gift to the daughter, that is a preference, and it will likely result in your daughter being sued by the bankruptcy estate. In our situation, the debtor has only successfully spent $1,000, and will owe the bankruptcy estate $7,000 and has also exposed his daughter to a lawsuit.
Bankruptcy planning is expected, but simply converting assets to a less liquid form or giving the funds away or purely lying about having the asset, is not bankruptcy planning.
CALL NOW FOR A FREE STRATEGY SESSION FROM A MN BANKRUPTCY LAWYER AT KAIN & SCOTT
When bankruptcy planning, ask yourself, who is benefitting from this transaction, the answer should be you, the debtor, and then ask does the asset still exist or did I just convert the asset into another asset. Contact the attorneys at Kain and Scott and see us at www.kainscott.com. You will be glad you did!