Can you lose your home or other essentials?
Even if you own your home outright, you may lose it in the process. Depending on where you live, certain assets are exempt (excluded) from the bankruptcy estate, including all or part of the value of your home.
What is exempt property?
“Exempt property is any property that creditors cannot seize and sell in order to satisfy debt during chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. The type of property exempted differs from state to state but often includes clothes, home furnishings, retirement plans, and small amounts of equity in a house and car.” according to law.cornell.edu.
What most people don’t understand is that everyone has the right to stop unsecured creditors from seizing their exempt property. In other words, every adult has the right to protect the basic necessities of life. Link to Arizona Exemptions.
Can you transfer non-exempt property into exempt?
Transferring assets that are not exempt into assets that are exempt, without more, isn’t illegal or wrong. The legislative notes of the Bankruptcy Code specifically allow this kind of activity. But this doesn’t mean that the process is risk-free. Changes to the bankruptcy laws in 2005 challenge the Constitutional right of every person to get good legal advice from their lawyer about making transfers or taking on new debt before filing for bankruptcy.
Who can file bankruptcy?
Almost anyone who owns property in the United States, or who has a permanent residence or business here, can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, in order to be eligible for a discharge—the order that wipes out qualifying debt—you must first meet several criteria.
What questions should I ask about bankruptcy?
The question of who can file bankruptcy is deceptively simple – typically it is everyone. But the real question needs to be “should a bankruptcy be filed?” If so, “what type of bankruptcy?” And then, “who should file the bankruptcy?”. Followed by “when should a bankruptcy be filed?”. But those are just a few of the questions that must be asked before anyone or any company files for bankruptcy protection.
Isn’t bankruptcy just a bunch of simple forms?
People think that filling out a bunch of forms is all it takes to file for bankruptcy because that is how some law firms handle them. What the law firms don’t tell their clients is that almost all of them will lose their tax refunds, their families are sued for the return of money or assets that were given to them, they lose their businesses or other assets that aren’t exempt, and so much more. A really good bankruptcy lawyer takes the time to teach their clients about the challenges of filing for bankruptcy protection, and help them plan for the best possible result.