You Will Not Lose Everything in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

There are few things in life quite as overwhelming as having too much debt and too little income. While it might feel like it is impossible to get out of this cycle, bankruptcy offers a proven path toward financial stability. Fears over having to give up personal property might be holding some people in Virginia back from pursuing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, though. Having a better understanding of what property one can keep might help address these types of concerns.

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a portion of a person’s property may be sold to help satisfy creditors. This does not mean that he or she has to give up everything and become homeless. Indeed, there are many assets that are considered exempt and cannot be sold off. This may include things like primary residences and vehicles. Anything that is considered necessary for modern life is also exempt.

Nonexempt property are the items that the person filing for bankruptcy will need to part with. Nonexempt items can vary from person to person, too. A professional musician would be allowed to keep his or her expensive musical instruments, while someone who simply played as a hobby would probably have to give them up. Other examples of nonexempt property include:

  • Second homes
  • Second vehicles
  • Stocks and other investments
  • Valuable collections

This is far from an exhaustive example of exempt and nonexempt property. When a Virginia resident is considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, he or she may also want to know whether tools of trade, public benefits and even household appliances are considered exempt. Since this can depend on a person’s unique situation, it may be helpful to seek expert guidance.