It goes without saying that for many hotel owners the past few years have been tough financially. The general economic downturn, or recession as some economists have suggested, has caused hotel vacancy rates to skyrocket. Unfortunately for many hotel owners surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, the BP Oil Spill has exacerbated the vacancy rates which, in turn, have drastically hastened the financial downturn. At the end of the day, most hotel owners affected by the BP Oil Spill have experienced a substantial loss in revenues which, in turn, has caused the owners to default on their mortgage loans. If the hotel owners have personally guaranteed the mortgage loans, financial disaster for the hotel owners could be looming on the horizon.
Whether or not affected by the BP Oil Spill, it is critical for hotel owners to consider some form of personal wealth preservation planning (also known as asset protection planning). The planning is designed to protect the accumulated, personal assets of the hotel owner, including, in some cases, the hotel owner’s ownership of the hotel. Without proper planning, the assets of the hotel owner are exposed to creditor judgments including in many cases a deficiency judgment from the lender of the hotel mortgage loan. With proper planning, the assets of the hotel owner would be insulated from creditor judgments. Of course, every hotel owner’s situation is different, so the foregoing is subject to the facts and circumstances of the hotel owner’s specific situation. Additionally, the effectiveness of proper planning is, in part, dictated by the timing of the establishment of the planning and the jurisdiction of the hotel owner. It is important the hotel owners act now. At some point, it will simply be too late to protect the hotel owner’s assets.
The Law Offices of Aaron Resnick, P.A. offers all hotel owners a complimentary initial analysis of the hotel owner’s specific situation and to determine whether wealth preservation planning is something to consider. If you are interested in such an analysis, please contact the Law Offices of Aaron Resnick, P.A. From this analysis, we will be in a position to suggest whether you should engage our legal services to educate you on your planning options and to devise a plan to protect your assets. If you decide to engage our services, we will then establish and implement the planning.
Derek A. Schwartz leads the Firm’s Wealth Preservation practice group. He concentrates his practice in areas of wealth preservation, estate planning, wills and trusts, asset protection, probate and the tax and business legal needs of professionals, business owners and current and former professional athletes. Mr. Schwartz earned his bachelor degree in accounting from Emory University and his law degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. At the University of Florida, he served as a tax editor to the Florida Tax Review and was a member of the Florida Law Review. Formerly associated with the law firms of Holland & Knight, LLP and Greenberg Traurig, Mr. Schwartz has now provided Wealth Preservation planning to over 1000 clients nationally.