How to Deal with Assets During Bankruptcy
One of the primary concerns that many individuals have when filing for bankruptcy is what assets will need to be taken and what assets can potentially be retained. If you are preparing to file, here is what you need to know about what will happen to your assets during bankruptcy.
Real Property or Real Estate
Real property is also known as real estate property. This includes any real property in which the filer has a legal interest. When filing we list the address and description of the property, your interest in the property, and calculate a value to your interest in the property.
Additionally, any liens that a secured lender has in the property are listed and reduce the value of the property for purposes of the bankruptcy. This includes your mortgage, any home equity lines of credit, homeowner’s and condo association liens, tax liens, water liens, and any other liens on the property.
Personal property includes non-property items that you own, and all of these items are counted as assets during bankruptcy. There are 35 different categories of personal property, and for each, we briefly describe property, your ownership interest in it and we assign a value to it. Some types of personal property include cars, boats, trailers, cash, savings accounts, furniture, cars, jewelry, firearms, books, boats, aircraft, animals and household goods.
A critical component of any bankruptcy case is the exemption of assets.
Maryland law provides for the following exemptions:
- $1,000 of the value of household goods like pets, furniture, appliances, books and clothing. In general, trustees have no interest in collecting clothing or pets.
- Unlimited amount payable for sickness, injury, accident or death, including compensation for future earnings
- Federal retirement plans including 401(k) plans
- IRAs (maximum of $1,171,650)
- $5,000 of the value of clothing, tools and other equipment needed for a trade or profession
- $6,000 of the value of any property (cash, tax refunds, stocks, bonds, life insurance with cash value, etc., called the “Wildcard Exemption”)
- $5,000 of real estate or personal property if the debtor lives in the state of Maryland
- Property that is held as “joint tenancy by the entirety” for any property owned jointly by two spouses.
Should You Hide Assets During Bankruptcy?
Never! Filing for bankruptcy requires full transparency, so you must be completely honest about everything you own, how much you earn and what debts you have. If you attempt to hide your assets, you could face any of the following consequences:
- Not being able to discharge debts
- Having your discharge revoked by the trustee
- Not being able to discharge undisclosed debts in future bankruptcies
- Facing criminal charges
Choose an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney from Steiner Law Group
Steiner Law Group has years of experience working with business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals and families to safeguard assets and secure a better future. To learn more about how you can protect your assets, contact us today by calling (410) 670-7060.