I’m Going to Lose All My Stuff!!

Posted by on Oct 16, 2014 in Bankruptcy | 0 comments

I’m Going to Lose All My Stuff!!

A common thing I hear from potential clients–“I’m going to lose everything!” Lots of people think they will lose everything in their bankruptcy so they give things (like cars, boats, furs, and jewelry) to their family members so the court won’t take those things. That’s a bad thing to do and an incorrect assumption to make.

 

Georgia bankruptcy has things called “exemptions” that allow you to keep most of what you own. Even if you have equity in a car or house (you don’t owe more on it than it is worth), you might be able to keep it. Homestead exemptions are $21,500 (double if you are married and the property is titled jointly), so you can have $43,000 in equity in a home if you live in it. Cars are allowed $5,000 equity (double that if you are married and the car is also titled jointly).

 

Your attorney will make sure that your property is covered by the State’s exemptions (or Federal exemptions if you haven’t lived in Georgia for the past three years). If there is property that cannot be covered by an exemption, your attorney will tell you and let you know what you might expect.
Giving your property away before bankruptcy creates its own unique set of problems. There is a place on your bankruptcy forms that asks if you’ve transferred or sold anything of value in the last two years. If so, you must list it and the value you received. Other than selling things in the normal course of business (you sold that old junker to get a car that runs), this will raise red flags for your trustee and they will want to know why you gave property away.

 

Talk to your attorney about these issues if you have them. Forewarned is forearmed and your attorney will help you keep what you are able.
Call for a free bankruptcy consultation appointment 770-631-2334.

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