If you file in the state of Illinois, there is a wild card exemption that can be sprinkled over any type of personal property states South Wilmington bankruptcy attorney. That wild card exemption is $4,000.00 per person. Thus, in the case of a joint filing, husband and wife, the couple can protect up to $8,000.00 of miscellaneous property that they can sprinkle over an auto for an example. So, in essence, they can have a lot of equity in an auto and the trustee cannot touch it.
So this misconception out there that people will lose their house and lose their vehicles and lose their personal property when they file Chapter 7 bankruptcy is simply untrue. If you go to a competent Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney, that attorney is going to know what the law is regarding exemptions in his state. That attorney is going to know that you either have property that is at risk of being taken by the Chapter 7 trustee or is absolutely protected and there is no risk that it’s going to be taken by the Chapter 7 trustee.
You want to make sure when you’re meeting with your bankruptcy attorney that you list all of your assets and all of your liabilities. If you fail to list a particular piece of property, then it is subject to being taken by the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee.
In my 20 years of practice, I have had a few cases where clients would not tell me about a piece of property, but then they would disclose that piece of property when they were under oath at the 341 meeting of creditors in front of the Chapter 7 panel trustee. Something about being under oath and raising their right hand all of sudden woke them up to the fact that they did have a piece of property that they didn’t tell me about. Sometimes it’s a vehicle that’s paid for and the client will say that they didn’t know they to tell me because they didn’t owe any money on it or sometimes it could be a piece of land or a timeshare in some other state that they just neglected to tell me.
For the best result, be sure to tell your lawyer everything about your assets and your liabilities. Let the attorney guide you in the process. If you hold back information, the bankruptcy lawyer cannot give you the most complete advice.