Can I keep my Motorcycle, Furniture, Car?
As a law firm that handles personal bankruptcy cases on a daily basis, I get a lot of calls from people who want to know what will happen if they file for bankruptcy. How long will it take? Can I save my home from foreclosure?
The most frequently asked question about personal bankruptcy is: What property can I keep?
The answer is twofold. First, it depends on the type of bankruptcy you choose. Second, it depends on the steps you take. Let me explain.
The Type of Bankruptcy You Choose
If you are an individual, you will likely choose Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, none of your assets are liquidated as a part of your bankruptcy.
With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, certain assets may be liquidated, but many clients are surprised that none of their property is lost to liquidation. How is this possible?
For starters, you can file for personal bankruptcy and still choose to pay certain debts. For example, you can discharge your credit card debts and medical bills with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you can still reach an agreement with your auto lender to reaffirm your auto debt and keep your car, truck or motorcycle. If retained to handle your case, we can communicate with the creditors with whom you wish to reaffirm your debts and try and work out a debt settlement.
In addition to debt reaffirmations, there are certain protections offered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and state bankruptcy laws that are supported by the Code. One of these protections is bankruptcy exemptions, or certain assets you may protect. In Indiana, each person has the right to keep up to $15,000 of equity in your home, $8000 per person in other assets, up to $300 in your bank account and your 401(k) is protected as well. If you are above these amounts, filing a Chapter 13 repayment will protect these assets.