What if you file for bankruptcy, and discover assets you didn’t even knew you had?

Have you ever spent the weekend cleaning out the garage? If so, you probably end up amazed at the amount of stuff you have accumulated over the years.

There’s a good chance that you have more assets than you realize that aren’t cluttering up the garage, too.

And if you are going to file for bankruptcy, you need to start thinking about them.

How about money in your Paypal and EBay accounts? Assets that need to be declared!

Same thing with book royalties, patents and trade secrets — what lawyers love to call “intellectual property.”

Web sites and domain names could be considered assets in our technologically dominated age.

Season tickets to sporting events and subscriptions to the arts definitely need to be declared — you wouldn’t want to lose them, would you?

Health savings accounts are assets. Run a restaurant? The liquor license might be a big one.

The security deposit for a rental apartment or storage unit is your money, not the landlord’s; and so these too are assets of what lawyers love to call your “bankruptcy estate.”

Vacation clubs and timeshares? Put ’em on the list too!

And this list is not meant to be all-inclusive (I don’t think any list could be), but it is meant to give you a flavor for some “hidden” assets that many people have, which need to be accounted for when filing a bankruptcy case.

As always, remember the “golden rule” of bankruptcy court: “list it, or lose it!”


By Doug Beaton

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