Debtors comtemplating a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing are sometimes put off by the idea that the case involves a “liquidation” of their assets. Sometimes this occurs when they are given government required warnings by their attorneys, or by the trustee’s office at the meeting of creditors. Worried as they are by debt, they may conjure up images of a bankruptcy court waterboarding, or perhaps of their belongings being carted off to a Building 19 fire sale.
For most people, though, there should be no worries about liquidation, for the flip side of the coin are the exemptions which allow consumers to keep a specified amount of property after filing the case. In an ideal case (from the point of view of the debtor, anyway), all of the debtor’s property can be declared exempt, and nothing will be taken away.
If you hire a bankruptcy attorney to draft the Chapter 7 filing for you, the attorney should go through the exemption laws with an eye toward legally protecting as much of your property as possible under the Bankruptcy Code. Then you can rest assurred that you won’t be losing any of your stuff, or in the rare instance where you might, come up with an alternative plan.
If you live in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, you can call me at my office and I can help you figure out if the bankruptcy exemptions can prevent you from being “liquified.”
By Doug Beaton