Helping You Protect Your Belongings

The first thing people worry about when they file for bankruptcy is whether or not they will lose their personal belongings: their clothes, furniture, jewelry, art and family keepsakes. It is a reasonable fear, but it's not likely that you will lose personal assets such as these in a bankruptcy filing.

Will You Lose Everything?

The short answer is no. Creditors do not want items that they cannot immediately liquidate for cash. Used furniture, clothing, and most personal jewelry and keepsakes fall into this category. Unless you are an art collector or have very valuable pieces, your artwork and decor are probably safe.

Items You Will Be Able To Keep

While every case is different, in general people who file for bankruptcy are allowed to keep their personal belongings and other items such as:

  • The tools of your trade (including tools, instruments and anything you need for your work)
  • Most retirement accounts
  • A modest car (valued at $4,000 or less)
  • Kitchenware

What Not To Do

It is tempting to want to protect and hide things that have value and meaning to us. In the case of bankruptcy this can work against you. If you are working with a trustee, it is very important to be honest. Do not:

  • Transfer valuable items to friends or family members in an attempt to keep them
  • Take out large cash advances just before filing
  • Give money to friends or family or pay them first
  • Hide any pending lawsuits
  • Deny that you have a trust or inheritance coming

Committing bankruptcy fraud is a serious offense. It can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to 20 years, or both. It is never worth it.

How An Attorney Can Help

Each state is different when it comes to what is exempt in a bankruptcy filing. An attorney can guide you and work with your trustee to ensure that only what is allowed is taken. A bankruptcy lawyer can protect you from unscrupulous creditors or schemes. An experienced attorney can also ensure that you follow the rules and exempt only what is allowed. At Summit Law Office, LLC, we have over 40 years of combined experience and can ensure that you exempt only what is allowed while protecting what is yours to keep.

Call Today For Your Free Consultation

Call us to schedule a free initial consultation at our West Allis, Wisconsin, office: 414-763-7266. You can also make an appointment to learn more about how we can help you by contacting us online. Contact is to help protect what's rightfully yours.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.