Asset Protection Expert Kevin Wessell of Companies Inc. Says New Bankruptcy Laws Mean Shielding One's Assets More Than Ever Before

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The USA's new backruptcy laws become effective in October and asset protection and estate planning specialist Kevin Wessell, President of LA-based Companies Incorporated gives valuable advice shielding ownings.

“Asset protection (lawsuit protection) is more important now than it has been in the history of the US,” asserts Kevin Wessell, the asset protection expert and who heads LA-based Companies Incorporated.

“Beginning in October 2005 a new law will go into effect that eliminates Chapter 7 debt elimination bankruptcy for 50% of the population. If you made more than the median income of your state, you can no longer wipe out your debts. You will be forced into a chapter 13 bankruptcy instead which gives the courts control of your spending and allocates a significant portion of your income to your enemies-at-law,” said Mr. Wessell.

Asset protection is controversial. Some say, “Well if you loose a lawsuit, you should pay.” Where others agree with the attitude, “I’ve worked hard for my money. If someone wants to take it away from me, they are going to have to work much harder,” according to Mr. Wessell.

Mr Wessell went on to say: “Let’s say you get into a car wreck. You don’t notice a stop sign and you sideswipe a stockbroker. He is seriously injured and requires hospitalization. The stockbroker’s attorney sees that you own a home, a car and have a bank account. Once they see you have assets to seize, the attorney agrees to take the case. The judge deems you responsible. You get judgment against you for one million dollars. The good news is that you have $500,000 of insurance. But the bad news is that you only have $500,000 of insurance.

You get a phone from the opposing attorney saying, ‘Write me a check for $500,000’.

You say, ‘I don’t have the money.’

‘I’ll help you then,’ he says.

You wake up one morning and your checking account is empty. Then your savings account is empty. Pretty soon the Sheriff pulls up in front of your house demanding that you leave. You house is sold on the courthouse steps. You are left, broke, confused and embarrassed…and homeless. Did you know that most homeless people are not wandering hobos? Most are people like you and me who lost everything in scenarios such as the one we have just described. “So, what do I do?” you may ask. Well, since you asked, here is a solution:

Asset protection.

The secret to asset protection consist of these two points:

1.    Own “nothing.”

2.    Control “everything.”

What I mean by own nothing is to not own anything in your own name. Instead, own assets inside legal tools that can protect your assets and your privacy. These legal tools allow you to have control of your resources without having them titled in your name. Below are some examples.

How do I protect my home?

One’s personal residence can be owned by a land trust. A land trust is a legal document that is used to keep the ownership of real estate private. The public records show that your home is owned by a trust. But it does not say who holds the beneficial interest in the trust.

For details, click this link: Land Trust Information

How do I protect my savings and investments?

It depends on how much you have to protect. For smaller amounts, a limited liability company (LLC) is a good choice. When you are sued, personally, there are provisions in the law such that the assets you have inside an LLC can be protected from being taken away from you, Mr Wessell points out..

For details, please click here: LLC Formation

For larger amounts, the offshore asset protection trust is arguably the strongest legal tool available. When a judge in your jurisdiction says, “Give me the money,” the licensed, bonded offshore trustee can refuse to comply. Since the judge does not have jurisdiction over the foreign trustee; your money remains safe and secure, he said.

For details on the offshore trust, please click here: Offshore Trust for Asset Protection

How do I protect my rental properties?

On rental properties, Mr Wessell says, “each rental property may be placed in separate land trusts for privacy of ownership. The land trusts, in turn are owned by LLC’s for asset protection and lawsuit protection. It is prudent to keep the equity per LLC, if possible, to $200,000 or less”.

How do I protect my cars?

Protecting cars is a bit trickier, says Mr. Wessell. “In a car wreck two parties are sued: the driver and the owner. Since you will likely be the driver of your own car, you will be on the hook either way. So, here is what we do for cars:

1.    Place the car in a title holding trust for privacy of ownership. This will make it difficult for someone to find that you own the car when they are conducting a public records search.

2.    Place a lien against the car using an LLC that you own privately.”

“It is essential that one does not mix safe and dangerous assets. That is why you would not place your car in the same LLC that owns your cash or mutual fund investments. In the event of a collision, the cash would be an easy target.”

“Though the new bankruptcy laws make it more difficult to wipe out debt and liability from a lawsuit, there are some important steps you can take to protect the things you have worked so hard to attain. “

About Companies Incorporated

Established in 1977, privately-held Companies Incorporated serves both large and small businesses throughout the USA and in some foreign locales with incorporating services, establishing LLCs (limited liability companies) to creating offshore companies aimed at protecting assets to legally reducing annual taxes. CI also provides services to establish S corporations and non-profit organizations as well. CI holds national seminars on its various services, most recently to a sell-out gathering of professionals in a prestigious Las Vegas hotel.

CI is based in the Los Angeles area at 27200 Tourney Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355. For more information about protecting your assets, call Companies Incorporated at 800-830-1055 or visit http://www.companiesinc.com

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