Most of us have items that carry value beyond monetary denominations. We do not consider them as our assets, but rather belongings that are a key aspect of our past. They hold memories and often come with a family history that can never be replaced financially or by simply buying another one in the future. We do not consider how much money these items are worth, but how much they mean to us.   

When it comes to filing bankruptcy, it is natural to worry about what is going to happen to your family heirlooms. Does the court make an exception for items that hold sentimental value or emotional attachment?

Will Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Require Me To Sell My Heirlooms? 

If you are filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you do not have to fret about your assets, because this type of personal bankruptcy allows you to maintain possession of all of your property. Instead of liquidating your property, Chapter 13 requires you to create a repayment plan that pays off your debts within a three to five year time period. 

What About Chapter 7?

Chapter 7 is a bit different because this type of personal bankruptcy requires you to liquidate your property to pay off your debts. Fortunately, the bankruptcy rules for Chapter 7 provide specific exemptions that allow people to keep some, if not all, of their assets. There are state and federal exemptions, and you can only use one set of exemptions or the other; you cannot use both. 

When listing your property for your bankruptcy paperwork, it is crucial to make your own personal list that categorizes your assets by importance. This way, your attorney can help you determine which exemptions will help you keep all of the property that you are worried about losing. If you find that you will have to give up items that carry sentimental value, there is another avenue you can take. 

If Your Sentimental Property is in Danger

There are times when the inherited nostalgic property is more than a piece of jewelry or an antique table. If the property that was passed down to you is a home or a piece of land, it could be more difficult to find ways to keep it in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is especially true if you do not live in or on the property. If the inherited asset is rental property or property you are allowing family members to live in, you will probably have to turn it over to the bankruptcy estate in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
How can you file bankruptcy and secure a brighter financial future without giving up the items that you inherited? In these instances, you might want to consider filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of Chapter 7. Before you take the leap and file bankruptcy, you should speak to an attorney who can help you develop a strategy that will enable you to keep the assets that are important to you. Nobody should feel like they are being forced to render items that carry sentimental value in order to file bankruptcy.

Are You Considering Filing For Bankruptcy?

If you feel bankruptcy is the best option for your financial situation you need to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 888.348.2616 to schedule your free consultation.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.