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Protecting Your Property from Government

— January 31, 2020

It is in your best interest to protect your property as well as maximize the value of the compensation that you will receive.

One of the biggest problems when it comes to protecting your property comes from the fact that not all danger to you comes from a malicious third party. Sometimes, the hazard to your assets comes from those who are supposed to vouch for its safety and protection – the government itself. You see, in a scenario where you’re facing federal charges or owe a fortune to the IRS, the government may be after your home, your business, your vehicles or your income. The problem with this idea lies in the fact that you may have planned to use some of these assets in order to pay the government back, which is a serious setback to your plans. In that scenario, you need to know how to protect your property from the government and here are several ideas.

Ask the right questions

The first thing you need to take into consideration is the status of your property and the simplest way to establish it is to start asking the right questions. For instance, do you actually own the property in question and whether you use it in order to generate rental profit. Second, you need to ask whether you own an empty or unoccupied property, do you own a property that is mortgage free and whether you live overseas.

The majority of people assume that if the government is after your property, you must be the one that’s at fault. However, people behind government institutions also make mistakes and there’s always the risk of property fraud. Sure, in this scenario, the law is on your side but how long will it take for you to actually prove this and for the effect of your action to take place. This is why you need to be as proactive as possible.

Start with the right structure

By choosing a business asset like the LLC (limited liability company), you’re actually taking the step to protect your personal assets from the problems with your business and vice versa. A similar thing takes place when you establish a legal trust. The key thing here is for you to create legal insulation between your personal and professional life. This is also why so many experts advise against running a sole proprietorship.

The reason why this is so important is due to the fact that it’s highly unlikely that your household will accumulate that sort of debt on its own (through unpaid utilities) that the government institutions will see no other way but to start confiscating. On the other hand, a business that you’re not paying taxes for or one that accumulates a huge amount of debt might be able to do so in no time. 

Have the right legal team

The next thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that you need some expertise on the topic of compulsory acquisitions. Sure, knowing more on your own is incredibly important but you might have to take one step further. Why not look for industry veterans and ask them for their opinions? After all, having theoretical knowledge is one thing, but possessing a first-hand in-depth understanding of the laws in question is probably the most important thing out there. So, look carefully for the right firm and do some research on their reputation, previous cases and similar factors, just so that you can remain on the safe side.

Look for the taking order

One of the first things you’ll have to do after you find yourself a target of compulsory acquisition is to request a taking order. This is something that the government has to provide you a copy of. Here, you will have four major points of interest to address. First, there’s a reason for the taking of your property. Second, you have the land for the taking identified. Third, you have the date that the taking order in question was registered, and finally, you have the issue of whether all the interest in the land is extinguished.

Grey wooden house at sunset; image by Kent Rebman, via
Grey wooden house at sunset; image by Kent Rebman, via

The compensation

In a scenario where the owner objects they have about six months (depending on the region) to initiate a claim for compensation. Here, you have to include everything ranging from the value of the property in question all the way to the disruption that this makes in your regular income. In some scenarios, the property taken may have its effect on the rest of your assets, in which case you would also be eligible for injurious affection. For instance, if you run a huge manufacturing business consisting of several facilities and the facility that’s taken produces a part integral to the manufacturing of the product, the damage is far greater than it initially appears.

Once the claim is acquired by the authority it is their duty to provide the injured party with an offer of compensation of their own. From this point on, it’s up to the owner to either accept or reject the compensation. For this, they legally have about 60 days from the moment that the offer was served. Keep in mind that this only goes for the official rejection, seeing as how they fail to officially refuse within this time-constraint, the offer will be deemed as accepted.

In conclusion

As you can see, you have a tough legal battle ahead of you and the sooner you start the better. Namely, it is in your best interest to protect your property as well as maximize the value of the compensation that you will receive. This is where the right legal team can help you get the most value from. Keep in mind that protecting what’s rightfully yours might be one of your most important financial obligations. Do not take it lightly!

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