Bankruptcy Assets

A is for Assets

Make me a list of your assets, I say. But I don’t have any assets, you say.

It’s a common misunderstanding that assets must have a high value. Assets are simply all the property that you have and include every form of property not only real estate (the house, condo, vacant lot, commercial building and/or apartment building). All forms of assets must be disclosed if you file for bankruptcy. Assets that someone is holding for you and assets that are out of the country are all listed. There is even a place to disclose assets that belong to someone else that you are holding for them.

Assets include:

— accounts receivable, bicycles, books, cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, cemetery plots, cremation certificates, clothing, jewelry, coin collections, computers, electronics, furniture, insurance policies, stamp collections, pets and art on the walls.

Assets include future rights such as potential income tax refunds. Assets also include intangible things such as business goodwill, the right to sue someone, or stock options. All assets must be disclosed on the bankruptcy schedules and exemptions remove the exempt assets from property of the bankruptcy estate.

As Hawaii attorney Stuart Ing says “For bankruptcy purposes, it is better to err on the side of disclosing more than less. If an asset is listed and the trustee chooses not to sell it, you can keep it. If it wasn’t disclosed, the trustee can still come back years later and sell it to satisfy your creditors.”

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