Many people have the mistaken idea that they will lose all their property if they file a bankruptcy case. NOT TRUE! There are exemptions allowed for many different assets. Although the exemption amounts vary from State to State, in general, equity in your home will be protected up to certain limits. Household goods, clothes and personal items, jewelry, vehicles, and even savings are protected, again up to limits set by State or Federal statute. If you have assets that cannot be claimed as exempt, these can usually be protected by filing under Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7. Chapter 13 allows for a payment plan designed to pay your creditors over time what they would have received if your non-exempt property were sold, thereby protecting those items you can’t exempt.
KEEP IN MIND, you cannot transfer property to a friend or relative prior to filing a bankruptcy. The bankruptcy Trustee has the power to recover transferred property, and you would likely lose any exemption you could have claimed to protect it.
Make sure you get good advice from an experienced attorney BEFORE you make a decision about filing a bankruptcy case, and BEFORE you transfer any asset or repay any debt to a relative. Your attorney will know the exemptions available to you, and will be able to help you make the right decision to protect your property.
MORGAN & MORGAN HAS MORE THAN 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE HELPING PEOPLE WITH BANKRUPTCY AND DEBT RELIEF, SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY, WORK-RELATED INJURIES, AND OTHER LEGAL PROBLEMS. VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.MORGANLAWYERS.COM OR CALL (706)548-7070 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION.