Getting into unmanageable debt is rarely a conscious decision, and can be one of the most stressful experiences in anyone’s life. If you’re barely staying afloat in a sea of debt, and are starting to see bankruptcy as your best option, you may be wondering about some of the technicalities. For one, what happens to all your belongings after you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? As you may already be aware, there are certain possessions you can keep after filing for Chapter 7, and some that you may have to sacrifice for the sake of a more secure financial future.
What Property Is Exempt during Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Rather than allowing a fear of losing everything hold you back from filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if that’s the best option for you, it’s sensible to consider the specifics of what you will and will not actually lose during the process. You may be pleasantly surprised by what possessions are exempt. While Chapter 7 involves liquidation of assets, you could be able to retain ownership of:
- Vehicles worth up to a specified value
- Tools and other equipment essential for you to do your job
- Household appliances
- Essential household furnishings
- Jewellery worth up to a specific value
- Wages you have earned but are yet to receive payment of
- Public benefits
- Any damages you may have won from a personal injury claim
- A certain amount of equity in your home
A Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can discuss this exemptions in more detail, including how they can be applied to your personal situation.
There are some possessions that cannot be considered exempt from liquidation during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, and these include:
- Any valuable collections you may own, including stamps, coins, or other collectibles
- Valuable musical instruments
- Investments, including stocks and bonds
- Any homes or vacation properties you own, apart from your main residence
- Cash, including any savings accounts you may have
- Family heirlooms and antiques
- Any extra vehicles in your possession
Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy with a Salt Lake City Attorney
The bankruptcy of any kind is unlikely to have featured in your life plans but, if you’ve found yourself with a high level of unsecured debt, Chapter 7 could be a good route to getting back on your feet. These unsecured debts may include credit cards, loans and unpaid medical bills, amongst others.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy comes with both advantages and disadvantages, as you may expect. One main advantage of Chapter 7 is that it can take as little as 120 days to complete the process, compared to up to five years for Chapter 13. The downside is that you may lose some of those non-exempt items listed above. If you can’t meet minimum payments, this may be a worthwhile trade-off for a more secure future.
At the Salt Lake City offices of Justin M. Myers, we have helped numerous clients deal with their debt by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or another form of debt relief. If you’d like to discuss your options with an experienced Salt Lake City Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, call us today on 1-801-505-9679 to schedule a free initial consultation.