How to Keep Your Possessions In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you and your family are overwhelmed with debt and don’t have a high income, you may be a good candidate for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, your possessions are typically liquidated in order to make payments towards your debts, and any remaining debt after this process is usually discharged. This can give you a clean financial slate that allows you to start over. But how do you make sure that you don’t lose everything in a bankruptcy?
Know What Property Can Be Listed as Exempt
You may be worried that all of your possessions — including your home and your vehicle — will be liquidated, leaving you with nothing. The bankruptcy court does allow you to keep many of your possessions, however, you have to list them as “exempt” under the law. Failure to do so means they won’t be protected from liquidation, and you may lose them. Property that is not essential to everyday life, such as a boat or second car, may not be able to be exempted from bankruptcy regardless of how you list it. However, property that is essential to daily living like your home, your car, or money in your bank account may not be taken by the court and distributed among your debtors if you file properly.
Other examples of exempt property may include necessary clothing, household appliances, pensions, public benefits, some jewelry, and household furnishings. Examples of non-exempt property may include second homes, multiple vehicles, leisure vehicles like boats, or family heirlooms that are valuable. However, even if your property is considered non-exempt, you may still be able to keep it from being liquidated under certain conditions. For example, your trustee may abandon non-exempt property, or you may be able to exchange exempt property for the non-exempt property.
Consult a Miami Bankruptcy Attorney
Filing bankruptcy is complex, especially when it comes to listing exempt and non-exempt property, or negotiating with a bankruptcy trustee to keep non-exempt property. Although many people believe they can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Florida without the help or cost of an attorney, this is not a wise move. Any mistakes on your bankruptcy paperwork could result in the loss of your valuable assets, with no way to get them back.
However, by working with a skilled Miami chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer, you can not only be confident that your paperwork is done correctly, but also that your attorney has exhausted every possible option under Florida law to ensure you are able to keep as much as your property as possible. Your attorney can work directly with the bankruptcy trustee to negotiate a property trade or a payment for non-exempt property, and through knowledge of what property can be claimed as exempt, will list the maximum amount of your assets in this way.
If you’re facing the prospect of bankruptcy, contact the Law Firm of Joel M. Aresty, P.A. today to discuss your options. Attorney Aresty will work hard to help you keep as much of your valuable assets as possible while assisting you with the discharge of the maximum amount of debt. Call today at 1-855-362-5297.