Jacob Stein specializes in structuring the ownership of your assets to make it difficult, or even impossible, for others to take them away. Creditors, plaintiffs, unhappy business partners, state and federal agencies - all can threaten those assets. Our asset protection planning can reduce, or even eliminate, those threats long before they appear. Our clients tell us that the peace of mind that asset protection brings is priceless.
Accruing debt is the easy part. Owing money and the stress that comes with it is not. Many people find themselves in a bad debt situation. We have seen hundreds of clients who have: purchased real estate before the collapse of the market, undertaken real estate development projects to have the funding cut off at the last minute, borrowed money to fund a new business that went under, signed personal guarantees on a real estate or a business loan, lost an anchor tenant at their shopping center, or taken out a credit line. We have seen these clients borrow money from or sign personal guarantees to large international banks, small community banks, private lenders, private equity funds, former friends and business associates, and the SBA.
Commercial lenders usually make for aggressive and formidable creditors. It is important to know just how aggressive your creditor will be when collecting the debt. Some lenders will immediately issue a notice of default and then move to file a lawsuit. They will prosecute the lawsuit to a judgment and will then move to collect on that judgment and they will not settle or negotiate. Other lenders will allow years to slip by before they take any action. We have represented hundreds of borrowers and guarantors, and know which lenders are aggressive, which will hire private investors, pursue judgments across state lines, which will settle, and which will never negotiate.
If you are worried about a loan default (whether you are the borrower or the personal guarantor), it is very important to pursue asset protection planning before the default takes place. This makes it a lot more difficult for a creditor to defeat the asset protection structure. However, even if you have already defaulted, there are many possible structuring options that will either shield your assets or place you into a much better negotiating position.