What kinds of personal property must be sold in a bankruptcy? 2 Answers as of November 09, 2010

My mother-in-law has gotten into a crazy amount of debt and does not have a job to pay it off. I think she might need to file for bankruptcy, but I think her case will be particularly complicated. You see, she is a hoarder, and her house is literally stuffed with, well, stuff. If she files, will she be required to sell a bunch of that stuff off? What kinds of personal property does the filer need to sell?

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The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
The debtor (or, filer as you denote) does not sell anything. That is the job of the case trustee. In a Chapter 7 case, the Trustee will sell any assets of value which are not exempt under applicable law. The applicable law is determined in most cases based on where the debtor has lived for the 2 years prior to the case being filed. It really all depends on what her "stuff" is worth. If it does not have a real saleable value, then I doubt she would lose it. If it does and she does not want to lose it, then she may be safer filing a Chapter 13 case. Either way, someone is going to have to inventory what is there as she does have a responsibility to disclose everything.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2010
The Shakoori Law Group
The Shakoori Law Group | Rachelle Shakoori
In California usually most household goods are 100 percent exempt. You can also use the wild card exemption to exempt most other assets. An experience attorney will evaluate all her assets to make sure NOTHING is liquidated by the trustee.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2010
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