Tune in as Black & LoBello offers free legal advice on a wide range of topics

Click here to listen to the Legal Hour on KDWN AM720 from June 6th, 2012 in which Managing Partner, Tisha Black Chernine, Esq., hosts special guest, Randy M. Creighton, Esq., a bankruptcy attorney practicing at Black & LoBello.  Mrs. Black Chernine and Mr. Creighton discuss how Ally Financial’s recent bankruptcy affects the real estate market (2:00) (10:20), how bankruptcy affects foreclosure (5:00), bankruptcy as an asset protection tool (11:50), how credit counselors or debt settlement programs help rebuild credit (21:10), the changing stigma of bankruptcy (24:30), predatory lending by credit card companies (26:30), how to find a good bankruptcy lawyer (30:08), when should you consider bankruptcy (32:40) and why bankruptcy trustees take income tax refund and how to protect it (34:25).

Please tune in to AM720 KDWN’s “Legal Hour,” every Wednesday, from 9 AM to 10 AM.  Listen live on the radio or online.   Feel free to call in with your comments or questions at 702-257-5396.

To listen to past shows, visit our Media page.

Tune in as Black & LoBello offers free legal advice on a wide range of topics

Click here to listen to the Legal Hour on KDWN AM720 from May 2nd, 2012 in which Managing Partner, Tisha Black Chernine, Esq., hosts special guest, Jeffrey Morse, Esq., Special Counsel to Withers Worldwide.  Ms. Black Chernine and Mr. Morse discuss Abel v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP et al, a current case in New York alleging that banks are laundering money overseas (2:15), problems with the stress tests for the major banks (12:40), tips for investment including real estate and offshore accounts (16:40), how to check house foreclosures (21:27), real estate agent unfair practices (25:30),  problems getting a loan modifications (29:30) and tips for successful asset protection (34:40).

Please tune in to AM720 KDWN’s “Legal Hour,” every Wednesday, from 9 AM to 10 AM.  Listen live on the radio or online.   Feel free to call in with your comments or questions at 702-257-5396.

To listen to past shows, visit our Media page.

Black & LoBello on AM720 KDWN

Click here to listen to the Legal Hour on KDWN AM720 from March 7th, 2012. Christopher Phillips, Esq., who practices Probate, hosts with guest lawyer Tiffany Ballenger, Esq., who practices Estate Planning and Asset Protection at the law firm Black & LoBello in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Ms. Ballenger and Mr. Phillips discuss how to protect assets against creditor issues (2:00),  what is adult guardianship (4:50), the guidelines that executors should follow (8:33), buying foreclosed homes with robo-signing issues (12:01), what trustees can and can’t do with assets (16:55), problems with real estate agents (20:40), statute of limitations on probate proceedings (26:40), suing banks to refinance mortgage loans (31:05) and how AB 284 makes banks halt foreclosures (33:08). 

Please tune in to AM720 KDWN’s “Legal Hour,” everyday, from 9 AM to 10 AM.  Listen live on the radio or online.   Feel free to call in with your comments or questions at 702-257-5396.

To listen to past shows, visit our Media page.

The Nevada’s Homestead Exemption Protection law provides homeowners with an excellent asset protection device.  Nevada defines a “homestead property” as: Land with a dwelling on it; a mobile home whether or not the underlying land is owned by the mobile home owner; and/or a unit (such as a condo).  This protection is only available for one’s primary residence, not investment properties or second homes.

The amount of protection from creditors is the equity associated with the property up to the limit of $550,000.  A homesteaded property is not subject to forced sale on execution or any final process from any court, except as otherwise provided by subsections 2, 3 and 5, and NRS 115.090 (and unless otherwise provided by Federal law.)  Furthermore, judgments cannot be executed against homesteaded properties, as defined by In re Contrevo, 23 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 3, March 8, 2007.

Remember, this protection is not automatic.  You must record a valid homestead claim/declaration.  If you have previously recorded a homestead declaration, but later refinanced the property or quitclaimed it to your living trust, please ensure that that you still have a valid declaration recorded.

If your residence qualifies for the exemption (as provided above), and you record the appropriate forms per NRS 115 , the equity in your residence up to $550,000 will be protected from creditors’ claims. Of course, a homestead declaration does NOT protect homeowners from any mortgage or deed of trust (including junior lien holders such as second mortgages or HELOCs).  Also, it does not protect against super-priority lien holders such as HOA fines.

The Clark County Assessor’s website is a wonderful resource for more information on Nevada’s homestead law, as well as information regarding completing the Homestead Declaration Form.

Tiffany N. Ballenger, Esq.

Click here to listen to Mr. Phillips talk about how different types of trusts can be used to protect your assets as well as other methods used to transfer assets in case of death or disability.

Tiffany N. Ballenger, Esq. will present at a series of seminars from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM August 19th at the the Prudential Americana office located at 8337 W. Sunset #150, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89113.

Topics to be covered:
Tiffany N. Ballenger, Esq. will be discussing the differences between the short sale and foreclosure process and the pros and cons of each. She will also touch on how these processes affect credit and different circumstances to consider with each process.  Ms. Ballenger will also cover Asset Protection and how an attorney assists with negotiating deficiency judgments.

Bring friends or family members that can benefit from this very important FREE seminar series. For more information, click here.

Attorney Tiffany Ballenger practices Asset Protection, Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Medicaid and will be a featured speaker at the Solera Home Expo located at the Stallion Mountain Community Center.   Please come with your questions on Saturday, March 27th, 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM. 3736 Budenny Dr., Las Vegas
3/4 Mile East of Sam’s Town on Flamingo

As we enter the second year of widespread foreclosures and short sales in Clark County, we are just starting to figure out how the banks will behave.  Many are unaware that they can take proactive steps to minimize both the possibility and effects of when lenders pursue a deficiency action.

As always, the best defense is a good offense.  The best option available to those with assets is to engage in a preemptive strike: asset protection.  Several strategies can be used to properly protect properties, investments, and savings.

First and foremost, take advantage of state and federal exemption laws.  Homesteads in Nevada are protected up to $550,000 worth of equity in a primary residence with a proper homestead designation.  Other exemptions can be applied to funds in ERISA qualified plans and some of the cash values held in life insurance policies.  This means, if you are sued or have a judgment against you, assets or equity held in exempt resources cannot be collected.

Next, a proper structure using business entities can be used to remove assets from your personal name and place them in the name of the business.  This offers two types of protection; shielding a business from claims of its owners’ creditors and an owner’s assets from the claims of business creditors.  In certain circumstances, business owners may also see tax benefits from proper business formation.

Take, for example, Ann and Tom.  Ann and Tom have a house worth $400,000 that they paid cash for, and own a sole proprietorship business with cash accounts of around $50,000.  Ann manages their business while Tom works as a pharmacist.   They each have $50,000 in their 401(K)s and have about $10,000 worth of cash value in whole life insurance.  They have three children, all under the age of 18.  Unfortunately, they also own a rental property worth about $200,000 less than what they paid.  They both signed on the loan.  Ann and Tom also have about $100,000 in savings in their joint savings account.   They are up to date on all of their mortgage payments but are thinking of a possible strategic default on the underwater investment property.

What can Ann and Tom do to protect their assets (home, 401(K)s, cash value, business assets) from potential claims if they default on their investment property?

There are many possible solutions for every situation. Here are some possible recommendations for Ann and Tom:

  • File a Declaration of Homestead for their primary residence. This quick, inexpensive method may protect all of the equity in their home and involves only a trip to the Recorder’s office and approximately $20.00 in recording fees.
  • Take advantage of state and federal deductions.
    • As long as their 401(K)s are ERISA qualified, all of the funds are protected from any judgment rendered against them.
    • Additionally, Nevada offers protection to Ann and Tom’s life insurance benefits as long as the annual premiums on the policy do not exceed $15,000.
    • They may want to take some of their savings and put it into 529 plans to save for their children’s education, which have various tax and asset protection advantages.
  • Set up a proper business structure.
    • A sole proprietorship offers little or no asset protection for the owners of the business or the business assets.  A better strategy is to form a Nevada limited liability company.  This provides protection of the business’s assets from Ann and Tom’s creditors.  Also, if the business itself is sued, Ann and Tom’s assets may be protected as well.
    • Tom may also want to form a separate company for his pharmacy practice since that particular profession has a high risk of being sued.
  • Pursue negotiations with the bank.
    • Ann and Tom might try to negotiate a loan modification with the bank or work out a short sale.  However, if they do not engage in proper planning before submitting their financial statement to the lender, the outcome could be less than ideal.
    • Again, proper structuring is important.  A short sale has many advantages over a foreclosure and Ann and Tom should sit down with a qualified attorney before deciding which courses of action to take.

Tiffany N. Ballenger, Esq.


The information contained on this website is designed to enable you to learn more about the services that Black & LoBello offers to its clients. These materials do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice, nor are they intended as a source of advertising or solicitation. Your use of this website does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship. You should not consider these materials to be an invitation for an attorney-client relationship. Further, you should not rely on the information provided on this website without first obtaining separate legal advice.

Tisha Black Chernine awarded for
Mountain States Rising Stars 2011

Michele T. LoBello awarded for 
Nevada Super Lawyers 2007

Black & LoBello is an AV® Preeminent rated, locally owned, full service law firm in Las Vegas, Nevada.