For the majority of creators and others working in the arts, finding a source of steady income is often a difficult part of the vocation. From visual and performance artists to authors and musicians, work is hard to come by, and these jobs are highly competitive.
Because of this hardship, it’s understandable that there are several cases of bankruptcy a year filed by creatives. Even famous artists are not safe from financial struggles, as told by the 2009 circumstances of famed photographer, Annie Leibovitz. If you’re struggling to make ends meet as a creative, Behm Law Group, Ltd. provides guidance and support to help you file a successful case for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN.
For the most part, artists filing for bankruptcy don’t have a steady income to qualify for Chapter 13 reorganization. Because of this, Chapter 7 liquidation is the most common type of bankruptcy for those relying on their art, writing, performance, or other creative abilities for income. Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides a valuable debt discharge process overseen by a bankruptcy trustee, with fair treatment of both the filer and the creditors.
Assets in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
For the most part, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the same process for creatives as it is for those making a living from more typical vocations. The trustee sells off non-exempt property and distributes the sale proceeds to the creditors involved. In most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, however, filers are able exempt and they retain all of their property; typically, the only things they lose are their creditors. Priority debts such as child support debt and tax debt have to be listed in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding but, for certain public policy reasons, those types of debt are more difficult to get discharged.
For artists, there may be some differences in the Chapter 7 asset liquidation process. Specifically, any income you make from your work is counted as an asset. If you’re a painter, for example, unsold paintings created at any point before you file for bankruptcy are considered business inventory that must be disclosed. Typically, there is a “tools of the trade” and a “wildcard” exemption with which such business inventory and brushes, canvasses and other “tools” used to produce the paintings can be protected.
As a writer, if you have intellectual property rights to a book or a play you’ve written, any income from the sales of that book or from the royalties of your work will be included in the bankruptcy process. If you can’t exempt all of that intellectual property, you may lose some of the rights to it and to some of the future income it may provide. Your creditors may benefit from the non-exempt values or portions of those rights and future income. This is commonly seen with musicians filing for bankruptcy. The intellectual property will go to the purchaser of that asset (to a record label, for example).
In a nutshell, if your art, craft, or other creation is providing you with income but you still need to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, those creations can be included in and are relevant to the Chapter 7 process.
To learn more about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Redwood Falls, MN, as an artist, author, musician, or other creative, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 today.