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Will they take my property after I file bankruptcy?

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One reason people find themselves in the position of wanting to transfer their assets before filing for bankruptcy is that they are afraid the bankruptcy trustee will take their stuff after they file. But you might not need to worry about that, especially in New Jersey.

Why not? Because you might be able to declare and exempt all (or most) of your property.

What does it mean to “exempt” your property? Generally, once you file for bankruptcy, a “bankruptcy estate” is created, which contains all of your non-exempt property. The trustee can decide what to do with the property in the bankruptcy estate – such as whether to sell it for the benefit of your creditors.

A bankruptcy “exemption” refers to the legal means of keeping your property outside of the bankruptcy estate.

In order to claim an exemption for property you own, you specifically list the property on the bankruptcy papers, the property’s value, and the specific statute section allowing you to exempt that piece of property. This process should be used for all property – including all personal property, such as furniture – so that the trustee cannot claim it for the bankruptcy estate. If you don’t list it and exempt it, you may lose it.

New Jersey gives you the choice to use either the Federal exemptions or the New Jersey exemptions. And the Federal exemptions are quite generous.

In New Jersey and looking at a 7? Call me at 201-676-0722.

  • The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You? by Stephen Elias Attorney (slideshare.net)
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One Response to Will they take my property after I file bankruptcy?
  1. Targetlaw
    December 4, 2009 | 1:53 pm

    Great post. Feel free to submit this post to http://www.targetlaw.com/submit-article.


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