Should I file for bankruptcy if I own valuable assets that are not exempt when filing for bankruptcy? This a good question for you to ask your bankruptcy attorney after you set up your free bankruptcy consultation. The answer is that for most people, they will be able to keep most if not all of their assets when filing for bankruptcy. This is because when you file for bankruptcy, debtors are allowed to protect their assets through the use of bankruptcy exemptions. Depending on what state you file in and where you resided two years prior to filing bankruptcy will determine whether you will use Federal Exemptions or state exemptions. In Washington state most debtors use the Federal bankruptcy exemptions because they provide the most protection for debtors assets. If however you own a home with over more than $40K of equity, debtors will most likely choose to use the state exemptions which can protect up to $125,000 of equity in a primary residence.
A bankruptcy attorney can advise whether filing bankruptcy is a good idea for you. If you don’t have enough bankruptcy exemptions to protect all of your assets it may still be a good idea for you to consider filing for bankruptcy. This is because if you owe a large amount of unsecured debt and will only lose a few thousand of assets then it would make sense to go ahead and file. If however your assets are of significant value, such as an investment home with a large amount of equity, then filing bankruptcy would probably not make sense. Every case and every debtor has a different set of facts which is why a bankruptcy expert should be consulted before action is taken. A bankruptcy lawyer can advise debtors as to the laws and the risk of losing assets. Debtors should know that they can keep their assets, even if they are over the exemption limit if they agree to pay the bankruptcy trustee assigned to their case a fixed amount in exchange for the asset. Most trustees will take amounts that are less than the value of the asset. This saves the trustee time from having to liquidate the asset.
If you have additional questions regarding whether filing bankruptcy when you own valuable assets is a good idea, please schedule a free consultation with Symmes Law Group by calling 206-682-7975.