Protecting Your Personal Property
Dallas-Ft. Worth-Austin-Houston Lawyers Ready to Answer Your Questions
Horror stories about bankruptcy will tell you that you will have to sell all your possessions. The facts are much different -- you usually get to keep much of your personal property. And you can choose between different plans that will allow you to keep different things.
Before you consider filing for bankruptcy, you deserve to find out how you can keep your personal property. The Texas attorneys of Fears | Nachawati can walk you through your different options and answer your questions about keeping personal property.
What Can I Keep?
The key to protecting your personal property is making sure things are exempt from the bankruptcy proceedings. When something is exempt, it means you will definitely be able to keep it. Some things are automatically exempt, but for some, your lawyer will have to prove that it needs to be considered exempt.
All bank accounts, retirement accounts, etc. are automatically exempt. Typically, you can also keep furniture, TVs, stereos, appliances, computers, household pets, and many other possessions. Even if you have a home entertainment system, it will typically be exempt.
Examples of things you may not be able to keep are boats and other watercraft (ski-doos, jet skis, etc.) But it depends on your situation -- you can only know for sure if you speak with an attorney.
Can It Be Sold?
In general, the bankruptcy court is only going to take away things that will bring a fair amount in a sale. Valuable possessions, such as things that don't depreciate much with age, may not be exempt and may be sold off.
And of course, the type of bankruptcy that you choose can make a difference. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will typically involve selling off more property than a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. And a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is better if you intend to keep a house or car and are behind on the payments.