You cannot "protect" assets in bankruptcy court. They are either exempt or not. Your residence is exempt under the homestead exemption, social security income is exempt. Money in an LLC is not. You need to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. You may lose some of your property.
Lawrence J. Marraffino
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Bankruptcy may be a viable option for you. I agree that you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss these issues. Consult as soon as possible because although assets may not be exempt now you may be able to effectively plan your case to maximize those assets prior to case filing.
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The short answer is that there is nothing you can do to protect your bank balances. The bankruptcy code allows for certain exemptions, and that's it. Your LLC will be considered a personal asset, so you'll probably lose the $20k you have there, unless the company has legitimate debt obligations (payroll, etc.). The SS and home equity are exempt. Your wife's income and assets will also have to be disclosed even if you file alone. You need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney ASAP.
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Debt situations become much more complex when there is a business involved. You need to speak to a local attorney in order to form a plan of action that will protect the maximum amount of your assets.
You have a home with $150,000 equity.
You have an LLC whose assets include $20,000 cash, possibly more.
You have over $1,000 in the bank.
People lose things in Chapter 7. It's called liquidation for a reason.
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