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Can you file bankruptcy if you own property?

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A basic, rough primer:
BK is always done under FEDERAL Laws, in a Federal Bankrutpcy Court. Basically State makes little difference. (Yes the BK Courts operating in certain areas have certain special exemptions and such, minor in the overall, generally intended to make things adhere to the local laws and customs better).

In a personal bankruptcy, YOU go bankrupt. Not a debt, not a loan...not a car...not a this or that. ALL of your assets, of all types, MUST be disclosed and reported in BK, and ALL of your liabilities/debts must be too. No exceptions, no picking and choosing. They are all, always involved in some way.



The court will then order each of them in priorities according to the laws. Some things may be exempt from use or discharge (like your personal furntiure and retirement accounts are exempt and child support cannot be discharged) - and the rest may be used. With one to pay the other. (All possible creditors are contacted and asked to say what they are owed....you may be required to even take advertisments out to make sure everyone is notified).

Any deal you've done for several years is open to scruitiny and review. The court can reverse them, take them out of the BK, or even have them prosecuted as trying to defraud your creditors. (So, no you can't sell your boat to your brother and then declare BK).


Debts secured by an asset (say a car) have first call or right to the money received from that asset. If it isn't enough to pay the debt, the remainder of that sdebt becomes a general or unsecured claim against the BK., and has a chance to payment on that level too (albeit a lower priority than those who have yet to receive anything).


The end/remaining amount that can't be satisfied is generally discharged by the court...meaning you no longer owe it. You get a fresh basically debt free start....many of those you owe don't get paid what they had expected and relied on, if anything.


There are many other considerations too. BK will severly hurt your ability to get credit for a very long time for example. It is on your credit report for at least 10 years...and employers refer to that too, as do landlords and more. Many do not rust people with bankruptcies in their past, especially in the last few years. Many more things.


Not disclosing all items is frequently trie and easily discovered, in which case - as you are swearing under oath to the court you included all info - your case is dismissed, and regularly, fraud charges are pursued. (Courts don't take to being lied to well). Many seem to fall into the trap thinking that they can trick or change the system. It simply ain't going to happen.The courts, Judges, laws, bankers, all those zillions of attornies, etc, have been through this thousands of times for many, many years. The processes are fairly well worked through and prepared for tricks and games. It is unlikely you would discover one that hasn't been tried a zillion times before! The Cos that claim they can change your record, or make magic happen (either before or after BK), are scams, and getting caught doing something unsavory (intentional or not), other than screwing up your bankruptcy filing, is frequently considered and persued criminally. (Think your financial troubles are bad, try adding in criminal ones).



The legal process and system is demanding even for those experienced with it. Many of your creditors will have an attorney to assure they get as much as possible, even groups of lawyers, who specialize only in bankruptcy. Simply you should/better/need to have one too.



State Laws that Affect Bankruptcy


Each of the fifty states has its own bankruptcy laws that work along with the United States Bankruptcy Code. State laws provide various protections for the bankrupt in the form of exemptions. For example Massachusetts exempts $500,000 for the primary residence. Nevada exempts up to $15,000 for a vehicle with no limit if equipped for the disabled and $550,000 for the primary residence. Wyoming provides only $10,000 in exemptions for real property. You can check the exemptions in your state at the related link provided below.
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