This question is a good example of why it is important to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your corner. If you make a mistake while filing for bankruptcy you could have your case dismissed, get hit with fines and penalties or even face criminal charges. So, let me emphasize this: You must declare all of your assets in bankruptcy…
That being said, there is no reason to worry. Just because you declare an asset doesn’t mean you are going to lose it. In fact, most debtors end up keeping the assets that are really important to them. Under Chapter 7 you are allowed to keep property up to a certain amount of equity determined by exemptions and state law. Under Chapter 13, you get to keep all the property you want, but if the equity is above a certain exemption level then you will have to pay cash value for the amount above the exemption level.
Keep in mind that in most cases you will only give up property in a bankruptcy for two reasons:
- When you have too much equity in a property.
- The property is a secured debt and you are not current on it.
Before the bankruptcy process begins, you and your attorney will sit down and hash out where the property you own fits in with the exemption levels. After your first meeting with the lawyer, you will know what assets you may have to surrender so there won't be any surprises. It is also a good time to decide whether Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 is a better option for you.
There many different kinds of assets to declare, but in general it includes:
- Checking accounts
- Saving Accounts
- Personal injury claims
- Stock ownership
- Many more…
Going through bankruptcy? Let a professional bankruptcy attorney sit down with you and explain the details of bankruptcy, including your assets. They will also help you to decide whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is right for you. Call 770.389.0002 to speak to one of our attorneys today.