In this article, you can learn about:
- Why you should disclose all of your assets when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- How it’s possible to protect certain assets through exemptions.
- The benefits of ending creditor harassment by filing for bankruptcy.
What Assets Do I Have To List In A Bankruptcy?
When filing for bankruptcy, disclosing all your assets is imperative, though the process is neither overly simplistic nor complex. While minor items can be grouped together, significant assets such as vehicles, property, and various asset categories, including clothing, electronics, furniture, collectibles, firearms, sporting and hobby equipment, and bank and retirement accounts, must be explicitly listed. This also extends to business assets if you own a company.
It’s crucial to provide a fair representation of your assets; overlooking small items like a notebook might be inconsequential, but failing to disclose valuable items such as firearms, which can range in value from $500 to over a thousand dollars, could have serious implications. Everyone possesses assets, even if they might believe otherwise, and these must be accurately represented when filing for bankruptcy.
Are Certain Assets Exempt From Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In Florida, various bankruptcy exemptions are available to protect certain assets. Homeowners, for instance, might be eligible for full equity exemption or a substantial partial exemption based on the duration of ownership. Additionally, most retirement accounts, like 401-Ks and social security benefits, are entirely exempt. Personal property and motor vehicle exemptions are also available, albeit limited to $1,000 each, supplemented by a $4,000 wildcard exemption applicable to a range of assets.
It’s also noteworthy that Florida’s motor vehicle exemption is relatively low compared to other states, even after a failed attempt to increase it to $5,000. Some specific exemptions also exist, such as the earned income credit portion of a tax refund being protected. However, these exemptions can vary if you’ve resided in Florida for less than two years, as you might be subject to another state’s exemption laws.
Are Creditors Required To Stop Collection Efforts And Harassment After Filing A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
The federal bankruptcy code mandates that creditors cease all collection activities, including phone calls, letters, and emails, upon filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Exceptions exist for secured debts like vehicle loans or mortgages, where creditors can send informational communications. Failure to comply can result in sanctions against the violating creditors, ensuring a reprieve for the individual filing for bankruptcy.