When people learn that liquidation of their assets is the core feature of Chapter 7 bankruptcy law, they often feel like they're going to be left with nothing. Although the process can be pretty intensive in liquidating folks' assets and accounts, there are some things the law allows petitioners to keep. Let's look at 5 of the most important items on that list.
Items You Need for Your Job
The courts would prefer that filers still be productive members of society when they're done with bankruptcy. A petitioner can ask the court to let them hold onto anything necessary to ply their trade. For example, a work-from-home computer programmer would likely be able to retain at least one machine to allow them to do their job.
A practical vehicle to get you to and from work is also allowed. Bear in mind the court frowns on attempts to claim excessive vehicles, such as souped-up trucks or sports cars, as practical driving vehicles. The court may order you to sell an impractical vehicle and use some of the proceeds to purchase something more reasonable. The remainder of the proceeds from the sale will then be applied to debts.
Practical Home Stuff
In the same spirit, courts will consider requests to hold onto anything that's needed for daily home life. You'll still have pots and pans to cook with, an oven, and a microwave.
A similar legal spirit applies to household items. You won't be able to claim that fine china is needed for eating dinner. That stuff will be sold, and you'll be encouraged to buy more practical dinnerware if you don't have any.
The court prefers to not leave anyone without clothes, so you'll be able to retain a reasonable portion of your wardrobe. Likewise, clothing that serves a work purpose, such as coveralls and boots, can be kept. As with the previous items on this list, don't expect to keep luxury clothing unless you can present a detailed and compelling argument for why you need it for work.
In some cases, the bankruptcy trustee simply isn't interested in pieces of property. For example, they might find that your old baseball card collection isn't as impressive as you thought it was. Therefore, you won't have to liquidate those assets.
Some states have wildcard rules, although that's not as fun as it sounds. Essentially, you're allowed to retain a certain dollar amount of your total property. If you don't have other major assets to drive up the total, it may be possible to stuff desirable property into this category.
For more information on what sorts of assets you can expect to keep after a chapter 7 bankruptcy, visit sites like https://www.taylorcrockett.com/.