One of the more frequent questions people have about Panama is whether or not their assets are protected from court judgments from other countries. This is, for obvious reasons, an important question that deserves to be answered fully.
The first thing we need to do is define what a foreign judgment is. In courts in countries such as the United States, monetary values are often rewarded to the defendant or prosecutor who wins the case. In this case, the winner will be looking to collect this money from a foreign account. To do so, he or she must convince the country that the person is keeping their bank accounts in to turn over the cash. Unfortunately for them, Panama will not and does not cooperate in these sorts of cases. Some offshore banking countries have treaties with other countries to turn over funds won by another party in a court case. Panama, in short, does not. Therefore you don’t have to worry about losing money from a Panama account in a debt proceeding.
What does this mean specifically? It means that if you are divorcing someone and they are entitled to half of your money, that does not include the money inside a Panama account. If you go bankrupt, the government cannot seize your accounts in Panama. If you have to support your children a certain percent of your income, this amount won’t include your offshore accounts (though a good parent will provide properly for children.) Your money is safe in Panama.
Furthermore, if you owe some business or person a debt, they cannot come to Panama and try to request it. Panama officials will deny knowing you and deny that you even have an account. They do not have to respond to claims made in foreign governments and they will not.
If you protected yourself properly, your assets will not even appear under your own name in Panama. You can easily start up a bearer share corporation that is owned by a private foundation. Both of these entities will have their own debts and are basically treated as other people. This means that someone looking for money under your name will find nothing, as it is all under a disguised corporation that is owned by you. Remember that as long as someone cannot see a link between you and a corporation in terms of ownership, they cannot pass the blame onto that corporation. It is as if, to them, you never even had the money that is owned by that corporation. This is asset protection that cannot be offered anywhere else.
Most people will never pursue financial struggles into another country. Why? The bets are against them and they will find it next to impossible to get any information to proceed. As long as you set up proper walls to keep people from viewing all of your assets, you will keep your future nest egg safe.