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

Garnishment of Credit Card Payment Processor

Experienced collection attorneys may collect a judgment against a small business by garnishing the debtor business’s credit card receipts. This is typically done by serving a writ of garnishment upon the company’s merchant account where credit card receipts are collected. Assume that a creditor is unable to serve a writ of garnishment on the debtor’s merchant bank, is there another way to garnish credit card payments? Continue reading

Florida Charging Lien On Interest in Foreign State’s LLC

Today a client, a Florida resident, asked me whether he could file a single member LLC in Nevada and protect his LLC from a charging order filed by a Florida creditor. Nevada restricts creditors to charging liens against single member LLC interest whereas Florida permits the creditor to foreclose the interest (take it). It seems I am asked the same question at least once every week. Continue reading

Florida Exemptions Do Not Protect You In Other States’ Courts

A former client had a judgment entered against him in a New York. The debtor/client lived and worked in Florida. He supported his wife. His employer had offices in Florida and New York, and it paid the client from the Florida office where the client was employed. The creditor caused the New York court to issue a writ of wage garnishment, and it served a writ of garnishment against the employer at its New York office. Continue reading

Homestead Right of Non-Resident Spouse Living Outside Florida

A New York attorney states that he represents a married couple that jointly owns a house in Florida. The wife is subject to a civil judgment entered by a New York court. The spouses maintain separate residences; the wife lives in New York with her children, and the husband resides full time in the Florida property. The husband’s job is in Florida. The husband claims the Florida house as his homestead. Continue reading