When filing for bankruptcy on behalf of a client, an attorney must consider how to best protect the client’s assets. During bankruptcy proceedings, the court reviews the petitioner's assets to determine the debtor's ability to repay creditors. The court then may require sale of the debtor’s property to reimburse creditors and/or cover court costs. The degree to which property is liquidated depends on the circumstances of each case.
Luckily for debtors, the bankruptcy codes include exemptions that may allow debtors to keep essential items, such as money contributed to retirement and pension plans, primary residences (to a certain value), vehicles (depending on their value), household goods and home furniture.
If you are considering bankruptcy, a qualified bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your options. While it is not necessary to hire an attorney to file for bankruptcy, an attorney can help ensure that your bankruptcy is properly filed and determine which assets you can protect from liquidation.
When clients first consult me about bankruptcy, most feel worried and concerned about their future. The part I most enjoy about representing people in bankruptcy court is watching the smile emerge on their faces when their debts are discharged, and we've been able to protect property and assets important to their future.