What will I lose if I file for bankruptcy? How? 17 Answers as of May 06, 2015

I am considering filing for bankruptcy because I got laid off last year and my debt has been out of control for some time. I know that assets are liquidated and distributed to creditors in a Chapter 7. What exactly will be liquidated? Will my car or personal items be repossessed or sold? Thanks!

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Novakov & Associates, PLLC
Novakov & Associates, PLLC | LINDA S. NOVAKOV
Depending on the jurisdiction in which you live, you may not "lose" any of your assets. All jurisdictions have exemptions which allow you to keep most of your property. If you have assets in which you have a great deal of equity and insufficient exemptions to allow you to keep the item, the trustee in bankruptcy can have the item appraised and request an order from the Court to allow the item to be sold. I have only seen one case where a client had one asset that required a payment to the Court, and no items were sold from the Debtors estate. It is a myth that filing for Chapter 7 means you lose everything and have to begin from nothing.
Answer Applies to: Kentucky
Replied: 5/6/2015
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
All of your non-exempt assets will be sold. Determining which assets are exempt is an issue of state law. Most state allow you to keep a vehicle and personal property.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/5/2015
Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
The types and values of personal property that you can keep and protect from your creditors vary significantly with the state in which you live. You should seriously consider consulting with and hiring an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to help you protect as much as possible and to guide you through the bankruptcy process.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/5/2015
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
You will be allowed to keep "exempt property". There are ways to keep property you are going to otherwise lose. For example, you can make an offer to the Chapter 7 Trustee (to purchase the items from the bankruptcy estate), or you can file a Chapter 13. Meet with an experienced BK lawyer to get all of your questions answered.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/5/2015
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
The assets that will be liquidated are any and everything you own that isn't protected by a state law called exemptions. These laws vary widely from state to state. In Nevada, the most common asset that is taken in bankruptcy is an upcoming tax refund or any asset that the debtor forgot to disclose and exempt.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/5/2015
    The Troglin Firm | William M. Troglin
    When you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy you list all of your assets and all of your debts. To keep assets you see what exemptions are available to protect equity in your assets. Georgia opted out of the Federal Exemptions and uses its own. The most common exemptions are: homestead $21,500.00 per spouse living in the home; Auto exemption $5,000.00 per titled owner; Household goods $5,000.00 per spouse and $500.00 per debtor for jewelry. There are many more but these are used in most every case. Most cases are no asset cases meaning the debtor does not lose any property unless he wants surrender something to the lender.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/5/2015
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You have exemptions for your car, house and household goods. As long as they are not really high in value you should be able to keep it all and get rid of your debts.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/5/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    It is the rare case that any any assets are liquidated in Chapter 7. Every state has a list of property you get to keep. Most state allow you to elect the exemptions in the bankruptcy code. That set allows you keep personal household items and up to $26,000 in any property. There is even a car allowance as well. Say your car has a value of $20,000 and you owe $10,000 on it. You take the car allowance and add the balance from the wildcard" (the 26K) to make up the difference.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    Generally, your personal car and household items aren't taken in a bankruptcy. If you have a car loan, you will have to keep up the payments on the car. I generally advise clients who are temporarily unemployed to wait until they are ready to start a new job before filing bankruptcy. Because if you have little or no income, then you'll probably run up more debt. So it makes sense to file at the end of your unemployment.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/5/2015
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    The bankruptcy trustee is first required to determine from the assets available what they are worth. If there are loans against the property securing the loan, for example a car loan, the trustee must subtract the loan balance from the value to determine if there is any equity. Next the trustee is subject to the applicable exemptions the debtor has available. If the debtor has an exemption which covers the value of the property or covers the equity of property subject to a secured loan, then the trustee will not sell the property and the debtor is able to keep the property. The exemptions which are available to cover personal property, cars, bank accounts, etc. are different from state to state. You would have to determine what exemptions apply to determine what property is covered and for how much. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide you with the information as to exemptions, what property is exempt, which could allow you to keep most if not all of your personal property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    You can choose to keep your car if you want to continue to pay the bank loan on it. Nevada has generous property exemptions for its residents. I suggest you look up NRS 21.090 and read what it exempt property. You can locate NRS off of the Nevada legislature website.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/4/2015
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    What you need to learn about are exemptions.? Exemptions are "protections" for value you have in certain assets such that they are "exempt" from collections.? Every state has different exemptions amounts available. Exemption laws are based on the state where you resided for the 2 years prior to filing your bankruptcy case or, if you lived in more than 1 state during that period, in the state where you resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to that 2 year period. Of course, the far easier and most efficient way to go is simply to have a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2015
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law
    Paul Stuber, Attorney at Law | Paul Stuber
    Every state has a list of exemptions, or things that you can keep for a fresh start. In most cases people who file a bankruptcy do not lose any assets.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/4/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You need to see an attorney for your options. Specific issues demand specific answers.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/4/2015
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    It really all depends on what you have and where you live. In California, the allowed exemptions are generally sufficient to protect a car and all of your personal possessions. Other states are less generous.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    In California there are generous exemptions that allow you to keep cars, cash and retirement accounts along with most personal property. Consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/4/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    You need to consult an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. This is almost always worth the investment. That said, there are very few chapter 7 cases in which the trustee actually takes your property and liquidate shit. That is because the law provides for fairly generous exemptions although some states are permitted to limit them. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/4/2015
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney