Bankruptcy & International Assets

Is real estate in another country subject to U.S. bankruptcy law? Must accounts held outside the U.S. be declared in a bankruptcy petition? Can foreign assets be shielded from domestic creditors?

The short answer is that all wealth, including international assets, must be listed when you file for bankruptcy. At Atlas Consumer Law, our award-winning attorneys commonly represent clients whose portfolios include real property, investments or liquid assets owned in foreign countries. We can advise on the potential exposure of international assets in a bankruptcy filing and associated adversary proceedings.

Our experienced Lombard bankruptcy lawyers represent debtors throughout the Chicago area. Contact us online or by telephone at (312) 313-1613.

International Assets in U.S. Bankruptcy

Failing to list international assets is not the way to protect them. Such a tactic would probably backfire, drawing additional scrutiny of your bankruptcy filing. Your bankruptcy petition could be dismissed with prejudice.

International assets must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The wisest move is to be upfront with your lawyer and lean on his or her advice as to strategy. Bankruptcy trustees may or may not pursue foreign-owned assets. The court considers various factors such as valuation, liquidity, cost-benefit of recovery and the country in question.

If your international assets are vulnerable to forfeiture in a Chapter 7, for instance, we can explore your options, such as Chapter 13 reorganization or negotiating with the trustee to redeem the non-exempt asset.

Tom and Katie* own one-third interest in 50 acres of land in Canada, bequeathed to Katie through a family trust. The Joliet, Illinois, couple also owns a condo in the Caymans valued at $400,000. In their bankruptcy filing, the trustee does not exempt the condominium but declines to pursue their split interest in the Canadian property.

*Tom and Katie are fictitious characters created for the purpose of explaining bankruptcy scenarios.

Our lawyers can capably address international assets and other complex considerations in your quest for debt relief. Contact our Lombard law office online or call (312) 313-1613 to arrange a consultation.

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