Your East Brooklyn bankruptcy attorney is going to make you fill out a bankruptcy questionnaire. The bankruptcy questionnaire is going to ask you to list all of your assets and all of your liabilities in detail. We, as bankruptcy attorneys, want to know exactly what you have in terms of real estate. We want to know if you own the real estate individually or jointly. We want to know if you have rental income from property. We want to know about that equity. We also want to know, as bankruptcy attorneys, whether you have any property anywhere in the world, such as a timeshare or a piece of property in another state or even another country. It is only after we know what you have in terms of real estate that we can actually tell you whether or not Chapter 13 is a good idea or whether filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good idea.
As I mentioned, you can keep a significant amount of equity in real estate in the state of Illinois and still file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and get a fresh start. The laws in each state are different and the exemption amount in each state can be different.
One thing about your bankruptcy attorney is he does not want to see you lose any property while going through the process. As a bankruptcy attorney, we want to make sure that you get a fresh start, that you keep all of your property and that you have a future after the bankruptcy case is over. If we file a case where there’s going to be an asset taken, that is a bad reflection on the attorney and the client is going to be disappointed with the result.
There are some cases where the amount of equity in question in either a vehicle or real estate or in personal property is on the borderline. What I mean by that is the trustee might have an interest in that property, but the trustee might also say it’s too burdensome to administer. In those situations where we have a questionable asset, I will have my client sign a potential asset acknowledgment form. This form basically lets the client know that yes, there is an item that is subject to being taken. We don’t know for sure if it’s going to be taken but it possibly can be taken by the Chapter 7 trustee. This is not something that you would know if you file bankruptcy yourself.