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What Happens to My Property In A Bankruptcy?

One of the most important things your bankruptcy attorney does is to help you protect your assets to the greatest extent possible. Contrary to popular opinion, a bankruptcy does not mean that you automatically lose your home, car and other property. However, the process of protecting your assets is not simple. Will you get to keep some of your property in your bankruptcy? Are there ways to maximize the amount of property you are allowed to keep? These are all questions that concern people who are filing bankruptcy, and the answers depend on the type of bankruptcy you file and the amount of your assets.

Real vs. Personal Property In A Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy affects real and personal property differently. The exemption scheme used by the State of Arizona allows you to exempt a much larger amount in your home than in your car or other personal property. This allows some debtors to stay in their homes and to re-establish their relationship with their mortgage company to pay for the house if necessary. However, this is not possible in all cases, particularly when the house is worth far less than the mortgage amount. A bankruptcy attorney will carefully assess the value of the home and the amount of indebtedness owed to determine the best strategy for the debtor. The exemptions for personal property will allow you to keep some of your personal property outright, although very valuable items may not be covered. For example, Arizona allows debtors to exempt enough in furniture that, in many cases, they are able to keep their home furnishings. However, brand-new, expensive purchases may not be covered by these exemptions. Similarly, Arizona allows an exemption for wedding bands, but very expensive rings may be in jeopardy. It is important for the debtor to have the experience and advice of a bankruptcy attorney in determining which items should be protected by exemptions. An attorney may be able to find ways to increase the amount of property a debtor can keep through valuation strategies and other methods.

Make Good Bankruptcy Decisions

Bankruptcy involves a series of decisions, and an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you make good ones. The attorneys at the Oswalt Law Group in Phoenix are ready to help you make these decisions and maximize the amount of property you can keep. Contact us today for more information.  

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