Are Social Security Benefits Protected From Securities and Exchange Commission Collection?

A caller said that the Securities and Exchange Commission had a civil judgment against him for his violation of federal securities laws. He wanted to know if the SEC could take his social security income when he retires. He said he had read my prior blog entries that said social security is exempt from garnishment, but that he had read something to the contrary on the internet. Continue reading

Moving Protected Homestead Equity From Another State to A Florida Homestead Property

Selling an exempt homestead in one state in order to move in to a new Florida homestead can be tricky. One must be careful to preserve the  protection of current homestead while it is on the market and also protect a Florida property that is purchased before the old home is sold and the new Florida home is occupied. Continue reading

Changes May Be Coming To Fraudulent Transfer Statutes

Florida’s fraudulent transfer law is for the most part the enactment of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. The Uniform act is adopted by most, if not all, states including Florida. On July 16, 2014, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) unanimously adopted the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act to replace the Unifrm Fraudulent Transfer Act. Continue reading

Should Your LLC Issue Written Certificates of Membership Interests?

Ownership of a corporation is evidenced by a stock certificate. Ownership of an LLC is evidenced by the LLC’s operating agreement , and in most cases, confirmed by LLC income tax returns. LLCs do not typically issue “shares” or other written certificates of ownership. But, an LLC may elect to issues written shares, and in some cases, establishing member ownership by written certificate has asset protection advantages. Continue reading

What Constitutes A Joint Judgment For Tenants by Entireties Exemption?

Tenants by entireties assets are protected against a judgment against either spouse, but entireties assets are not exempt from a creditor holding a joint judgment against both spouses. Sometimes, there is an issue about what constitutes a “joint judgment.” This past week I dealt with the issue of whether a single party that holds separate judgments against both spouses can execute against the couples entireties assets. Continue reading

Virtual Currency Hides Money From Ex-Spouse

I have said in prior blog post many that asset protection does not involve hiding assets or lying about assets. Yet, intentional deception about assets does occur, and it occurs most frequently in divorce cases. Family law gives ex-spouses powerful collection remedies that penetrate most defenses used to protect against civil judgments. Debtors owing alimony and support sometimes revert to hiding money and lying about their wealth. Continue reading

Dual Tracking Rules Prohibit Foreclosure During Mortgage Modification

During the height of the real estate recession many homeowners told me stories about how they were surprised by aggressive foreclosure by bank attorneys when they thought they were moving toward mortgage relief settlements with the bank’s representatives. That bank practice is known as “dual tracking”; that is, banks engage in a mitigation track at the same time their authorizing their lawyers to pursue a legal foreclosure track. Continue reading

Avoiding Tax Liability in Settlement of Mortgage Debt

I’ve written before that property owners who negotiate a waiver of deficiency judgment on property other than their homestead face potential income tax for forgiveness of debt unless they can prove they were insolvent at time of the debt waiver. I’ve also commented that some attorneys have stated they could arrange to avoid this tax trap. Continue reading

U.S. Supreme Court: Inherited IRA Is Not Exempt From Creditors

When an IRA owner dies and designates an heir, other than his spouse, as the beneficiary of his IRA the beneficiary acquires an “inherited IRA” from the decedent. The federal bankruptcy exemptions state that IRAs up to a dollar limit are exempt and not part of the bankruptcy estate. This month the United States Supreme Court ruled that inherited IRAs are not exempt from creditors because the character and purpose of the IRA in the hands of the heir is different from the character and purpose for the decedent. Continue reading