What is considered property of the bankruptcy estate?

assets2The bankruptcy code defines “property” very broadly.  If you are considering filing a bankruptcy, it is important for you to know what all is considered property of the “bankruptcy estate” and whether or not it is covered fully by the allowable bankruptcy “exemptions”.  Even the property that is “exempt” is property of the estate until the exemption claims are final (generally 30 days after the bankruptcy 341 meeting).

Property includes all of your legal and equitable interests.  For chapter 13 cases filed in Mississippi, all of the debtor’s property, including acquired property and income necessary to fund a chapter 13 repayment plan is considered property of the estate during the entire chapter 13 case.

So what are some examples of property other than the obvious assets such as house, car, clothes, etc?  The right to file and settle a lawsuit; stock options; the right to inheritances received after the bankruptcy is filed; property acquired by property settlement agreement or final decree; intellectual property; and even tax loss carry forwards.

It’s critical that we take a look at your “property” and the allowable exemptions in order to ensure that we protect your property in your future bankruptcy case and if there is property that would not be protected, we discuss options prior to filing the bankruptcy case so that you are in control of any decision making/choices regarding this property rather than the court.