If you’re struggling with a low income and looming debts, it may be time to start thinking about taking positive actions for relief that keeps your finances stabilized in the long term. One of the most effective resources available to you for debt relief is bankruptcy. Specifically, if you’re facing a severe imbalance between debt and income, you’ll likely benefit most from a liquidation type of bankruptcy that discharges your debts. The U.S. bankruptcy code outlines Chapter 7 as a liquidation bankruptcy for individuals and businesses alike. Behm Law Group, Ltd. attorneys have helped many clients file successful cases in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive effective debt relief.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, like all other types of bankruptcy, is still a process that must remain fair to debtors and creditors alike. This means that, though the filer will have their debts discharged, they also could lose some of their non-exempt assets to a liquidation process that returns a monetary value to creditors. Even if they’re not repaid in full on the debts you owe, creditors will sometimes not be left empty handed. However in the vast majority of cases all of a filer’s assets can be protected from liquidation with the bankruptcy exemptions (such as the homestead or motor vehicle exemption) provided under the bankruptcy code or provided by state law.
While exemptions are the primary method of protecting assets, there are some other ways to save your property. One less common way to keep your property is through redemption.
Why to redeem: Typically speaking, you will only benefit from redeeming a property in Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you owe substantially more debt on the property than the actual value of the asset. For example, if your car is not protected by the motor vehicle exemption and it’s currently worth $2,000 but you still owe a debt of $5,000 on the loan, you can redeem that property by paying the $2,000 value of the car to the creditor.
When to redeem: You can only redeem an asset if certain requirements are met:
- The property is tangible, but the asset cannot be real estate or business property.
- The property is collateral for a secured debt.
- The bankruptcy trustee abandons the property.
- You are able to repay the value of the property in one lump sum.
For the most part, those who redeem property use it for vehicles because they are products that depreciate quickly in comparison with the large amounts of the debts that remain on them. Other common properties redeemed in a Chapter 7 case are household appliances, furniture, antiques, and luxury goods.
With our guidance, you can build a strong case for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and determine the best course of action for exemptions, redemption, and other aspects of the process. To learn more about filing, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.