Does filing for Chapter 7 mean I have to give up my stuff?

May 24, 2017 Mark

On behalf of Gregersen Law posted in blog on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is commonly known as liquidation bankruptcy, which means that the sale of certain assets may go toward paying off some debt. For this reason, many people fear that filing for this type of consumer bankruptcy could mean that they have to give up their property and lose what is most important to them, a fear that could hold them back from taking a positive and beneficial step.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by debt and facing harassment from creditors, you may find that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a way for you to gain relief from your burdens. Fortunately, taking this step does not necessarily mean that you will have to give up your property.

What will you be able to keep?

It is completely understandable to have concerns over what will happen to your property during liquidation bankruptcy. However, you may be surprised to learn that through exemptions, you may be able to hold on to the following:

Vehicles worth up to a certain value
Tools of the trade and things necessary for work
Household appliances
Necessary household furnishings
Jewelry worth up to a certain value
Damages won from a personal injury claim
Unpaid earned wages
Public benefits
Certain amount of equity in your home
Every bankruptcy case is different, and to have a better idea of what you could keep, you would be wise to seek the counsel of an attorney who can evaluate your situation and explain your rights and options.

Non-exempt property in bankruptcy

There is some property that is not eligible for exemption during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Non-exempt property may include:

  • Family heirlooms
  • Valuable collections, such as coins and stamps
  • Valuable musical instruments
  • Stocks, bonds and other investments
  • Cash and savings accounts
  • Second homes and vacation properties
  • Extra vehicles

There may be some sacrifices involved in securing a strong financial future through Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but you may have to give up less than you ever assumed while under bankruptcy protection.

Emerging stronger and more secure

Bankruptcy may not be your first choice, but it could be the right path for you to take to achieve a stronger and more stable future. By seeking a complete case evaluation with an experienced Utah bankruptcy attorney, you will better understand your options regarding debt relief through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Upon emerging from bankruptcy, you will have a secure financial foundation within reach, allowing you to move forward with confidence.