Part of the reason that many Florida residents hesitate to file for bankruptcy is that they believe they will not be able to keep any of their property, including their home. However, there is quite a bit of property that those filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are able to retain. What most people need to know is what types of property are not exempt In a bankruptcy liquidation proceeding.
Nearly every filer is allowed to keep a vehicle so long as it does not exceed a certain value. However, a second vehicle does not fall under any exemption. Likewise, a Florida resident might be able to keep the family home. However, a vacation home or second home of any kind could be sold to pay creditors.
Many people own musical instruments, but unless you are a professional musician, they does not fall under any exemption. The trustee may also determine that family heirlooms, coin or stamp collections and any other valuable items are part of the bankruptcy estate. Certain financial accounts, along with cash, are also not included in the list of exempt property. Your attorney should be able to tell you whether a certain piece of property falls under an exemption.
It is never advisable for an individual to go through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process alone. However, if you are concerned that a certain item of property will become part of the bankruptcy estate, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Bankruptcy can provide a filer with a fresh financial start. The question is how much of your property you will come out of the process still owning?