Personal Bankruptcy

When a giant corporation goes bankrupt they often have a team of lawyers experience with those matter that can give them the fairest shake. While we all deserve a fair shake, filing for personal bankruptcy means you are going it alone. This can be tough.

We all want to hang on to our personal belongings and benefits (or at least as many as we can. Therefore, your decision to file for bankruptcy will depend on how much property you are willing to surrender.

This can be a brutal decision, but it is one you are going to have to make if you are filing for personal bankruptcy. Here is a list that should give you an idea of what you can typically keep and what you will have to surrender.

While these lists vary slightly in different states they are usually fairly similar no matter where you are.

  • Motor vehicles, to a certain value
  • reasonably necessary clothing (no mink coats)
  • reasonably needed household furnishings and goods (the second TV may have to go)
  • household appliances
  • jewelry, to a certain value
  • personal effects
  • life insurance (cash or loan value, or proceeds), to a certain value
  • pensions
  • part of the equity in your home
  • tools of your trade or profession, to a certain value
  • portion of unpaid but earned wages, and
  • public benefits (welfare, Social Security, unemployment compensation) accumulated in a bank account.

Items you must typically give up (nonexempt property) include:

  • expensive musical instruments (unless you're a professional musician)
  • stamp, coin and other collections
  • family heirlooms
  • cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds and other investments
  • second car or truck, and
  • second or vacation home.