FIling For Bankruptcy Can Protect Your Assets
Many people are afraid to file for bankruptcy because they are afraid they will loose their stuff. They think they will loose their automobile, retirement plan, house, tax refund or other important assets. The vast majority of people who file for bankruptcy never loose a single asset. The reason for this is because the bankruptcy laws allow for debtors to keep most or all of their belongings. Congress set up a list of items a debtor is allowed to keep, this list of items are called exemptions. Some states have elected to not use the exemptions established by Congress and to create their own list of exemptions.
In Virginia, debtors are allowed to keep, if their lawyer properly claims the exemption, many items, including, but not limited to; equity in their home, retirement plans, household goods, clothes, jewelry, tax refunds, money in the bank, automobiles, and more.
Under the new bankruptcy law, passed in 2005, a debtor must reside in the state he or she lives in for approximately two years before he or she may claim that states exemptions. The reason Congress changed this law is debtors were moving from one state to another for the sole purpose of claiming that states exemptions. If a debtor does not qualify for his or her states exemptions, then he or she will qualify for either their previous states exemptions or the federal exemptions.
It is very important that debtors have an experienced bankruptcy attorney help them claim the right exemptions. If the debtor claims the wrong exemptions, or fails to properly file the exemption paperwork, then the Chapter 7 Trustee may take the debtor’s assets and sell them for the benefit of the debtor’s creditors.
The bankruptcy attorneys at John W. Lee, PC have years of experience in helping debtor’s choose the right exemptions to protect their most valuable assets in bankruptcy.
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