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Protecting Your Assets During Bankruptcy: Tips from Asheville Lawyers

Filing for bankruptcy can be a formidable step, filled with uncertainties and complexities. It’s a situation where you feel you might lose everything you’ve worked hard to acquire. However, with careful planning and expert legal guidance, it is possible to protect your assets and navigate through these troubled waters. At Pitts, Hay & Hugenschmidt, our Asheville-based team of experienced bankruptcy lawyers is dedicated to helping you understand and leverage the legal options available to safeguard your assets during this challenging time. Here, we share some essential tips to consider.

Understanding Bankruptcy and Asset Protection

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process designed to help individuals and businesses eliminate all or part of their debt or to help them repay a portion of what they owe. The most common forms filed are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 for individuals, and Chapter 11 for businesses. Each type of bankruptcy handles assets and debts differently, which is why understanding the specifics of each is crucial.

Why Asset Protection Matters

Asset protection in bankruptcy is about utilizing legal strategies to preserve the assets you are legally entitled to keep. Protecting your assets is not about hiding them from creditors, which is illegal, but about understanding and making use of state and federal bankruptcy exemptions correctly.

Tips for Protecting Your Assets in Bankruptcy

Choose the Right Type of Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Often referred to as a “liquidation” bankruptcy, Chapter 7 allows for the discharge of most types of unsecured debt. The trustee may liquidate non-exempt assets to pay creditors, so knowing what exemptions apply can help you retain more of your property.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: This is a reorganization bankruptcy, ideal for those with a regular income. You can keep your assets while making payments under a court-approved plan. If you have significant equity in your home or other assets, Chapter 13 can offer the protection you need while you get back on your financial feet.

Understand and Use State and Federal Exemptions

Each state has its own set of exemptions that can be used in bankruptcy to protect certain amounts of equity in assets such as your home, car, retirement accounts, personal belongings, and more. North Carolina allows you to choose from state exemptions that might be more beneficial depending on your situation. For example, North Carolina’s homestead exemption protects a certain amount of equity in your primary residence. Familiarizing yourself with these exemptions is key, and our Asheville bankruptcy attorneys can help clarify which exemptions can best protect your assets.

Consider Timing and Planning

The timing of your bankruptcy filing can impact asset protection. For instance, if you expect a significant change in income or assets in the near future, this could influence your decision on when to file. Planning involves not just looking at your current assets, but also your debts and any major financial transactions that may occur. Strategic timing can make a significant difference in the outcome of your bankruptcy case.

Consult with Experienced Bankruptcy Attorneys

Navigating bankruptcy and asset protection can be complex and nuanced, requiring not just a thorough understanding of bankruptcy law, but also strategic planning tailored to individual circumstances. At Pitts, Hay & Hugenschmidt, our lawyers specialize in bankruptcy cases and are adept at crafting strategies that aim to preserve as much of your property as possible while providing the relief from debt that bankruptcy offers.


Bankruptcy does not have to mean losing everything. With the right guidance and strategy, you can manage your debts and protect your assets effectively. At Pitts, Hay & Hugenschmidt in Asheville, we are committed to providing compassionate and competent legal assistance to ensure that your path through bankruptcy is as smooth and beneficial as possible.

To discuss your specific situation and explore your options for asset protection during bankruptcy, contact us today. Our team is ready to help you understand your rights and opportunities under the law, and guide you every step of the way.

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