I Filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Will I lose my Assets?
If you are facing an insurmountable level of personal debt, you may be considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can result in the loss of certain of your assets, but in the vast majority of cases, the filer’s exempt assets are mostly exempt and you can retain them. An experienced Bankruptcy lawyer will work with you to determine how you may be able to retain your assets in an ethical manner.
Any cash you have available, either on hand or in savings or checking accounts, is an asset of your Bankruptcy estate to which the Trustee can look to pay your creditors. However, there are so many exemptions that apply to these funds, that with careful ethical planning, you may plan your bankruptcy to be able to keep all of your cash on hand and in the bank. For example, 6 months of wages for a head of household in Florida, may be retained by the Debtor. There are many other exemptions which apply to your funds on hand.
Investments, Retirement and Brokerage Accounts
Stocks, bonds, and money contained in brokerage accounts can be liquidated as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case but are protected just as your cash is protected.
Your retirement accounts are safe from liquidation. There are exceptions to this, such as when you dump money into your retirement account at the last minute just before you file for bankruptcy.
Your primary home is an exempt asset because you need a roof over your head A vehicle with equity in it or a vacation home may or may not be protected under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You may need to look at Chapter 13 bankruptcy which allows the Debtor to retain all of his/her assets. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will be able to help you analyze your situation and offer good advice on this topic.
If you have a collection that has monetary value, such as a collection of stamps, coins, jewelry, or video games, your collection can be liquidated as part of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
Sentimental value means nothing in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. If you have family heirlooms with monetary value, they may be liquidated to satisfy your debts. You may not give these to loved ones in order to keep them away from your bankruptcy trustee without careful planning – such a transfer may be deemed to be a fraudulent transfer that the court can overturn. If you have valuable family heirlooms that you do not want to liquidate as part of your bankruptcy case, discuss them with your lawyer to determine if there is a way to protect them without committing a fraudulent transfer.
Work with an Experienced Orlando Bankruptcy Lawyer
Navigating the bankruptcy process can be daunting. To make it easier on yourself, work through the process with an experienced Orlando bankruptcy lawyer. Contact our team at Goodblatt · Leo today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.