The decision to file for bankruptcy is not one to be taken lightly, This choice can affect your credit for up to a decade and make financial recovery difficult. However, if bankruptcy is your best option, you will likely have questions about how to list your property in a way that will help the process go more smoothly. Learning the answers to these questions before you begin the process may help you feel more confident that you are following the letter of the law.
1. Do I Have To List All Assets?
This can be one of the most important aspects of filing for bankruptcy. When you list your assets, you must include all valuable property, including homes, vehicles, real estate, and other items that are known to have value. If you omit an item purposely and the courts discover you have done so, your bankruptcy claim may be tossed out and your item seized for liquidation. It is important that you compile your list carefully and be forthcoming about all your valuables.
2. How Do I Assess Value?
When you declare bankruptcy, you will have to assess the value of each item you own. This can be a challenge, especially if you cannot afford the services of an assessor. However, you can discover the value of your items, which will likely be listed in the current market value, by checking appraisal and listing sites online. For example, you can check the Kelley Blue Book website for the current value of any vehicles you own or have a jewelry item appraised online.
3. Do I Declare Court Awards?
If you choose to declare chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must declare all property and financial assets, including money in your checking or savings accounts. If you have recently won a court case and received financial compensation, you will likely have to claim the amount on your list. Because this type of bankruptcy involves the complete erasure of all your debt, you do not have the right to withhold any finances, even those won in a court case.
4. What if I Forget To List Any Property?
If you unintentionally forget to include anything of value once you declare bankruptcy, it is important that you report the omission to the court right away. The longer you wait, the more it may look like you made the error purposely. Most courts can amend your case to include the forgotten item allow it to move forward.
Declaring bankruptcy can be a confusing process, especially when it comes to listing items of value. Contact a Memphis, TN bankruptcy lawyer today for assistance and to learn more about how to file correctly.
Thanks to Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into bankruptcy law and property listings.