Determining Your Assets for a Bankruptcy Filing
When you’re facing bankruptcy, you probably think of yourself as having a whole lot of debts, but not a lot of assets. However, if you’ve got clothes on your back, you’ve got at least a few assets left to your name. Composing a list of assets requires a careful consideration of everything you own, as well as things you expect to own in the future, making it a great example of an aspect of filing for bankruptcy where the services of an attorney can make a world of difference in the success of your petition.
Your assets can be categorized between those that are “liquid” and those that are “non-liquid.” Liquid assets are ones that are either cash, or that have a clear cash value and can relatively easily be converted to cash, such as stocks and bonds, a checking or savings account. Non-liquid assets are all the physical items you own, such as a car, house, clothing, appliances—even household pets. You’re required to list every asset in your bankruptcy petition, even if you’re still making loan payments on the item, or even if the market value is extremely low. While it’s unlikely that the trustee will try to sell your pet cat, you still have to include it. Additionally, you’re also required to list assets that you anticipate receiving in the near future, such as an inheritance, bonus, or tax refund.
Leaving items off your list of assets might have the opposite effect than intended. Perhaps you’re scared of losing an antique you inherited from a dear relative, or fear that, if you list your car among your assets, you won’t have a way to get to work and could lose your job. As a result, you might feel tempted to leave those items off your list of assets, in hope that the bankruptcy court simply doesn’t notice. This is a violation of the law, and could in fact cause the very thing you fear to occur. The process of bankruptcy involves a careful examination of your assets and financial history, offering ample opportunity for the bankruptcy trustee to uncover undisclosed assets. If the trustee learns that you failed to list an asset you own, that asset cannot be exempted from the bankruptcy, and you stand at greater risk of that item being liquidated.
Instead of trying to outwit the court, hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the bankruptcy process while protecting your interests. A bankruptcy attorney can see to it that your list of assets is thorough so that you avoid getting caught having not included any assets you own or to which you may become entitled, and can help ensure that those items most important to you are exempted from liquidation.
For assistance with consumer law concerns and bankruptcy claims in Kentucky, contact the knowledgeable and dedicated Bowling Green bankruptcy attorney Lanna Kilgore for a consultation on your case, at 270-846-3700.