It was one of the most emotional legal meetings I have ever had with a client.
It was one of the most emotional legal meetings I have ever had with a client. Under the pressure of a major lawsuit, a husband and wife were desperate to find ways to protect their assets, principally their home. They had lived there for more than 25 years, almost their entire marriage. They had raised their kids in the home and had hoped to retire there and have their grandchildren visit on a regular basis. Regrettably, the outlook was bleak, and their dreams probably weren’t going to be realized. Their story was all too familiar. They had signed a business contract with a distributor, their business had taken a turn for the worse, and the financing and debts had spiraled out of control. The distributor was taking the lead in the lawsuit. My clients hadn’t done any proactive planning to protect their home equity, and they would have to sell the home to pay off the debts. Even if they went into bankruptcy, which they wanted to avoid, the homestead exemption (which can protect a certain amount of the value of a home from creditors) in their state was meager. The plan came down to selling the house for the greatest possible value and settling the debts at a discount. This is how people commonly lose their homes. It’s sad when I see it up close, and I wish more people would take active steps to protect their home’s value. This couple had serious regrets and wanted to warn others not to fall into the same predicament. Listen to their plea.
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