In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed to take over your property. Any property of value will be sold or turned into money to pay your creditors. You may be able to keep some personal items and possibly real estate depending on the law of the State where you live and applicable federal laws.
People are often surprised to learn that the only things that you are allowed to keep are your home, $1,000.00 of personal property and $1,000.00 in equity in your car. These things that you are allowed to keep are called "exemptions. Therefore, this bankruptcy is referred to the "poor persons" bankruptcy. If you have any assets above your home and a small amount of personal property, that additional property can be takes to pay your debts. Things that can be taken include stocks, bonds, bank accounts, boats motorcycles or even your personal car if that car has more than $1,000.00 in equity.
Probably the most well-known role of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is to TAKE and SELL the nonexempt assets of the bankruptcy debtor. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you are allowed to keep a certain amount of your property (the specific amounts depend on which state your case is filed in). These are protected assets that are “exempt” from the bankruptcy. If you own property above and beyond the amount allowed by your state, it is a nonexempt asset and the trustee may take and sell it to pay your creditors.
Debtors must also provide the assigned case trustee with a copy of the tax return or transcripts for the most recent tax year as well as tax returns filed during the case (including tax returns for prior years that had not been filed when the case began). 11 U.S.C. § 521. Individual debtors with primarily consumer debts have additional document filing requirements. They must file: a certificate of credit counseling and a copy of any debt repayment plan developed through credit counseling; payment from employers, tax returns and bank statements
It is important to list all your property and debts in your bankruptcy schedules. If you do not list a debt, for example, it is possible the debt will not be discharged. The judge can also deny your discharge if you do something dishonest in connection with your bankruptcy case, such as destroy or hide property, falsify records, or lie, or if you disobey a court order. You can only receive a chapter 7 discharge once every eight years. Other rules may apply if you previously received a discharge in a chapter 13 case. No one can make you pay a debt that has been discharged, but you can voluntarily pay any debt you wish to pay. You do not have to sign a reaffirmation agreement (see below) or any other kind of document to do this.
Please note that every case is different and the above description is for general bankruptcy information purposes only. If you are considering filing of a bankruptcy case, you should contact: The Law Office of John Bristol 954-475-2265 - firstname.lastname@example.org for a specific review of your case. You may also learn additional information by visiting other bankruptcy websites including Bankruptcy Attorney