December 25, 2009, Newsletter Issue #111: You May Lose Your Assets

Tip of the Week

Those who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically have large credit card or unsecured debt, and very little in the way of assets. If you own your home or car, there is a chance that you may lose them, so your lawyer may suggest filing for chapter 13. When you file for Chapter 7, most of your personal property is turned over to a court appointed trustee who sells your property, and uses the proceeds to cure your debts. You are allowed to keep some exempt property. However to keep property you are financing, such as your car, house, or furniture, you must sign a Reaffirmation Statement stating that you will be responsible for those debts. Once the Reaffirmation Statement is signed and approved, you cannot change your mind in a couple of years and decide that you do not want to be responsible for paying for those assets. This is considered discharging. Debts cannot be discharged for six years.

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