What Assets will I Lose if I File Bankruptcy?

by DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC on January 2, 2015

Tug of WarLosing assets is one of the biggest concerns people have when they are considering filing a personal bankruptcy. No two filings are the same, so we can review your individual circumstances and help you understand exactly how your property will be treated in your filing.

Chapter 13

Most Chapter 13 debtors do not lose any of their assets. The Chapter 13 process allows you to reorganize your debt and create a repayment plan that pays your creditors partially or fully. Thus, the trustee does not seize or compel the sale of your assets. However, if you decide you want to voluntarily surrender your assets and not include them in your repayment plan, you can do so.

Chapter 7

The Chapter 7 process is a liquidation proceeding, which means the trustee has the ability to seize non-exempt assets and sell them to pay your creditors. However, in the majority of the cases, the Chapter 7 trustee does not seize anything. Most people who seek bankruptcy protection have few non-exempt assets. To learn more about non-exempt assets, please read our blog titled Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions Protect Your Assets.” In short, property such as retirement accounts, household items, vehicles and even your home can be protected by exemptions.

The trustee may also decide not to pursue your non-exempt assets if there are difficulties or expense related to selling the asset or if it is too little to bother. Below are a few examples of the most common non-exempt targets the trustee looks for:

  • Cash or money held in a bank account
  • Commissions you have earned but have not received yet
  • Settlement awards or court judgments in your favor
  • Income tax refunds
  • Fraudulent transfers of property or money, especially to a relative
  • Valuable assets that do not have a lien on them

It is important to confer with legal counsel before you file a bankruptcy case. We can take inventory of your assets, calculate the applicable exemptions, and help create a strategy for protecting your property.

For your student loan, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and debtor’s rights matters, contact DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC at (414) 377-0518. We serve the counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha, and Racine, including such areas as Milwaukee, Merton, Delafield City, Waukesha City, and Kenosha. Visit our web site and like us on Facebook.


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