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If you have valuable foreign assets like real estate or offshore trusts, protecting these assets while you file for bankruptcy protection is likely a concern. It’s important to understand that all foreign properties, accounts, and real estate are subject to U.S. bankruptcy law and they must be disclosed on your bankruptcy petition. If you do not and the court finds out, your bankruptcy case will likely be dismissed with prejudice and you may face criminal charges.
Hiding assets is not the way to protect them. The best choice is being upfront about all of your assets and debts with your bankruptcy attorney to develop a legal strategy to protect your assets.
Foreign Assets Are Not Always Pursued
While your international assets are subject to U.S. bankruptcy law, trustees do not always pursue these assets. Trustees and creditors consider several factors to determine whether to go after international assets such as:
- Whether the asset can be liquidated easily
- The foreign nation’s legal system
- The value of the asset
- Whether the benefits of going after the asset outweighs the often significant costs of pursuing the asset
The higher the value of the asset, the more likely the bankruptcy trustee will be to try to get the asset. Assets that can be easily liquidated, such as bank and investment accounts, are also easier for creditors and trustees to claim than less liquid assets like foreign real estate.
Full disclosure is always the best option if you have international assets as the cost for the trustee to administer foreign assets may be so high that it discourages action. In the majority of cases, you will keep your assets, even when the trustee does not exempt them.
Contact a Nevada Bankruptcy Attorney
If you have moved to the U.S. from another nation and left assets behind or perhaps inherited foreign assets from a relative, it’s important to approach bankruptcy carefully to protect your assets from creditors. All international assets must be accounted for in your petition, but there is a good chance you will not lose them. Contact Las Vegas BK for a free consultation with an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer to discuss your concerns and explore your options.