Most states partly protect household furniture from creditor claims. Again,
you must check your state exemptions. The new Bankruptcy Act also protects
furnishings to a modest value. Moreover, ordinary household furniture
has little resale value and is seldom seized by creditors. On the other
hand, more valuable antiques, heirlooms, art, pianos, electronics, jewelry
and valuable collections (stamps, coins, etc.) need protection. One obvious
alternative is to sell or pawn your exposed personal assets and spend
or protect the cash proceeds, if creditor seizure is imminent. Or you
may transfer these assets to a family limited partnership, particularly
if these assets will increase in value and can be viewed as an investment.
Still, another alternative is to exchange any exposed assets with your
spouse for exempt assets of equal value. Finally, you may also pledge
these assets as collateral for loans.