Letter: Follow Up on Debt

Dear Hugh,

I read your comment on debt and I agree. Having been cautious of lawyers and government, my focus has been on privacy since about 1970. I had an excellent relationship with my CPA and we became partners in some real estate investments and some operating businesses. He also had privacy concerns, so we explored many things, offshore trusts, Turks and Cacaos, corporations in Hong Kong along with bank accounts in HK, Switzerland and Mexico. We formed all of the above at some time in my lifetime. The HK corp. and bank accounts survived an IRS hard look.

Your concern about not being able to pay a debt and having it come back at an inflated judgment is very valid.

There are some legal ways today to help with sheltering paid for assets. I have had several telephone conversations with management of this company.. They offer a Nevada LLC with directors that are offshore, so any kind of search for your assets will never show. New Mexico’s LLC rules are very loose, It is my understanding that once set up, no reporting requirements. More information needs to be collected on this subject.

My point is that a person still can have some level of privacy with hard assets without a lot of effort and minimal annual expense, of course the asset will have to be worth the effort. – B.F.


  1. Thanks for the insight. Unfortunately, I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to asset protection.

    I am coming into some money via a real estate sale and have no clue how to protect it. I will reread your offering and see if I can glean a little info that will help me.

  2. 1) Doug Casey has a bunch of free info over at his internationalman website. I don’t endorse it –not qualified to judge — and it would probably be best to read it from a public computer terminal at a library rather than your home computer if you worry about government surveillance.


    Plus Casey obviously is in consulting to make money.
    His group also put out the book “Going Global 2015” –available cheap on Amazon.

    2)While I’ve seen numerous articles touting Cook Islands as a fortress for protecting assets, I think it is better to step back and look at basic principles. If the IRS could slap the Swiss Banks around then I think the Pacific Fleet could certainly twist a few arms covertly in the Cooks. Plus I wouldn’t think there would be very many fiber optic lines running to the Cooks and Edward Snowden worked in Oahu Hawaii for a reason.

    3) Sames goes for Austria. On the other hand, nuclear armed China and Russia are more difficult for the IRS to bully. Problem is keeping the banks there from robbing you.

    4) Casey does make a good point in his book — while gold has many virtues, easy transport across borders is not one of them. That is true today and would be even more true in a crisis bad enough that someone would want to flee the USA. I never understood why people fool around with complex financial transactions (with associated paperwork) when they could simply go to Mexico, buy some precious metals, and bury them in Mexico somewhere. Or whatever other country they plan to use as a refuge. Note, of course, that tungsten fakes are hard to distinguish from real gold and so one has to know how to test a purchase.

  3. PS Note that many of the “offshore havens” are in that business because they are POOR — and hence WEAK. St Kitts may sell you a second citizenship/passport — but they probably also notify Washington when they do so.

  4. At the higher level of asset ownership it becomes less about owning items than having full and free use of them. I would go so far as to state that there is no good reason to personally own assets above some arbitrary number…and it provides diminishing returns to declare income over a certain level. Off Shore trusts and corporate structures can potentially ‘hide assets’ (though I cringe to use the term) …instead of going that route look at control mechanisms to reduce liability of ownership while still having full and free use of….think like a Board member and not a shareholder. Also…there are plenty of ways to legally devalue assets for any number of reasons but this allows for unitized partial gifts of select ‘aspects’ which can entangle and cloud ownership nicely. Nowadays…I have to say…anyone that talks about offshore holding isnt keeping up with reality…plenty of legal ways that arent hiding assets at all but effectively do just that. Research Captive Insurance…Advanced Gifting/Estate Planning/. Remember…it aint just you that has to understand this stuff…it is also your family and advisors. There are uncomplicated ways to go about everything if you have the right custodians and legal advice and you arent off shore and you still have contractual rights and obligations to assets that are held in other’s names which will never show your name on any formation documents.

  5. Here is a tip…worth what you paid for it. You arent looking for advisors that Advertise (except in very rare cases Like Steve Oshins or Jay Adkisson for example) …you are looking for advisors that interpret intent and build formula and language to satisfy intent. You either get introduced, cultivate your own or you stumble on them. Folks that know this level of liability/ownership/control dont need anything from you and to be 100% honest you either learn it yourself by being aware and asking questions and learning legislation or you get somehow inducted into that circle of society. But it is ALL legal, not ‘off shore’, and it just requires combinations of tax law, state law, estate planning and holding companies or LLCs with 3+ non related parties. Incidents of ownership and control are thoroughly examined. Frequently the tax implications keep you out of ordinary or earned income and into the 15% bracket north of what you decide to declare…because…keep in mind…the goal isn’t to hide money, nor is it to declare income. The goal is to make other people responsible for everything while you get to play around with it with limited restrictions.

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