What Can You Keep After Filing Bankruptcy?
Posted By Price Law Group
The big question bankruptcy attorneys are asked is: What can I keep after filing bankruptcy? The laws can be complex when it comes to exempt and nonexempt property. So where do you start?
Exempt property is property you can keep. Technically, your home, car, and many possessions can be exempt if you are current on them. This depends on what form of personal bankruptcy you file–Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Nonexempt assets cannot be kept in most cases unless you are filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where you have the opportunity to pay back assets over 3-5 years. Nonexempt assets can vary in value, but if you have few valuable assets, and are current on mortgage and car payments, you can often keep the majority of them.
For bankruptcy filers, hiring a professional bankruptcy attorney is simply a must.
What if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation proceeding where you cancel the majority of your debts, mainly credit card debts. You cannot claim mortgage, tax, alimony, college tuition, and many other forms of debt. You can discharge credit card debt, which is mainly why so many want to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically only lasts a few months; but bear in mind, any bankruptcy will stay on your record for some time, currently 10 years.
What if you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
It’s often noted that Chapter 7 filers are being forced to file Chapter 13. Why are fewer being allowed to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy? It’s mainly because people with higher incomes are filing. If you have enough money to pay expenses, but not enough to cover bills, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can buy you time to pay back bills. No possession–such as your home and car–will be taken if you stay current on them .Also, you get 3-5 years to pay back debts. If you fear home foreclosure, Chapter 13 bankruptcy can save it. It’s important to act early before the foreclosure goes into effect. If you are making enough money to pay most bills, but your house payments are behind, you should immediately inquire with a bankruptcy attorney as to your options.
What money can you keep after filing bankruptcy?
How much money you can have is another important question. If your home and car are valued too high, you may lose them with Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your car equity is too much, these can be considered nonexempt debts. If on the other hand you have too much money in your account and you have a car or home, these could be taken. These laws can be complex, and some state laws actually come into play concerning the value of exempt and nonexempt assets. If you’re unsure, a quick consultation with a good bankruptcy attorney can help.
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