Often people ask me, "What is an asset in bankruptcy?" Your assets are the items that you own, or will receive, that have value. The Bankruptcy Statutes define what is and is not part of your bankruptcy estate and it is different depending on which Chapter you file under. For Chapter 7, we generally look at a snapshot in time of your assets at the time you file. For Chapter 13, we also include your future income.
Most people will have a few specific assets such as their home, their automobiles, checking accounts, etc. Some people have retirement accounts, education accounts, and health savings accounts. Other assets may include jewelry, collectibles, and antiques. Some people filing have no assets at all.
Many assets are protected from creditors through exemptions. Bankruptcies filed in Tennessee most often will use the Tennessee State exemptions. Many people are worried they will have to give up everything they have if they file for bankruptcy. That simply is not the case. However, there is a price to pay for your fresh start. It would not be fair for someone to get rid of all their debts while retaining all of their assets. And, it would not be wise to make people completely destitute and send them out to start over with nothing at all. This is where these exemptions come into play. You can keep some of what you have to help you start anew. Many people will be able to keep their homes, cars, retirement accounts, etc.
To find out more about a specific asset in your situation, call for a free consultation today!