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What happens to assets in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When facing financial difficulties, individuals may seek to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which clears their debts.

However, this legal process involves liquidating assets to pay them off. Therefore, individuals considering this action should understand what could happen to their assets.

Liquidation process

In 2022, 261,277 individuals filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, according to U.S. Courts. Once the bankruptcy petition gets filed, an automatic stay goes into effect, halting creditors’ collection efforts. The trustee then evaluates the debtor’s assets to determine which ones are eligible for liquidation. The debtor needs to provide a comprehensive list of assets, debts, income and expenses to facilitate this process.

Asset liquidation

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee oversees the liquidation of non-exempt assets. These assets may include valuable property, such as real estate, vehicles, investments and personal belongings that exceed certain value thresholds. The court distributes the proceeds from the liquidation among creditors to satisfy outstanding debts.

Exempt assets

Understanding the status of different assets is important because certain assets are exempt from liquidation. This means the trustee cannot sell them to repay debts. These assets typically include necessities, such as a primary residence, a modest vehicle, clothing and essential household items.

Discharge of debts

Upon completion of the liquidation process, the court discharges most unsecured debts. This releases the debtor from any obligation to repay them. This includes medical bills, credit card bills and personal loans. However, student loans, taxes and child support payments may not be dischargeable.

Navigating the complexities of bankruptcy can be daunting, so individuals should seek guidance from financial advisors or credit counselors. They can provide valuable assistance in understanding the implications of bankruptcy, exploring alternatives and creating a plan for rebuilding financial health.

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The Law Office of Kim Covington, is a woman owned debt relief agency, and I have helped families, individuals and small businesses, file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, for over 24 years.