No. Just because you are filing for bankruptcy, it does not mean you will automatically lose everything you own. You are entitled to claim “exemptions”, which are things that creditors cannot take from you. You must be honest with the Court and include a list of all your assets. To keep your assets, you must list them.
You can expect problems with your case and can lose your property if you do not list it or you are not completely honest about what you own. You must list everything you own, have in your possession, will own in the future, or might have an interest in now or in the future. For example, property you would inherit from a parent in the future, the $5 in your wallet, the car or house that is “owned by the bank”, and your baseball card collection. Everything means everything.
It includes things that you are making payments on (cars, real estate, furniture); things you own with someone else (including your spouse); things that have your name on the title or deed as the legal owner (even if you do not have possession of it); things that you are holding for someone else (college account for your child); things that you may not think have a lot of value (household goods and clothing); and claims you might have against someone else such as a claim for injuries in an auto accident.
As your attorney, I need to know everything so that we can figure out how to deal with it and avoid your getting into trouble for not listing it. Help me help you. We want to protect your assets and ensure that the bankruptcy provides you the fresh start you deserve so make sure your asset list is complete. If you have questions about whether something should be considered an asset or the value of that asset – just ask. I’m here to help.