What Assets Can I Keep in Bankruptcy?

It is not true that you will lose everything in bankruptcy. With an experienced attorney handling your case, you should be able to keep most or all of your assets. The key is knowledge of bankruptcy law and the Colorado bankruptcy exemptions.

I am Loveland attorney Ross Wabeke. I have handled small business and personal bankruptcy for 30 years, including 16 years in which I also served as a bankruptcy trustee. I can give you reliable opinion, before you file, of what property you can and cannot keep, and I can stand up for you if the trustee in your case challenges any of the exemptions.

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What Assets Can I Keep in Bankruptcy?

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you do not forfeit any assets because you are repaying your debts. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be required to surrender some assets to the trustee in exchange for wiping out your unsecured debts. The trustee will liquidate those assets to pay your creditors.

My job as your attorney is to maximum your discharge of debt and retain as much of your hard-earned wealth as possible. From thousands of bankruptcy cases, I am knowledgeable about the qualifiers and little exemptions in the law that less experienced lawyers may not know about.

In general, the following assets are exempt:

  • 100 percent of retirement funds in qualified plans
  • $75,000 in home equity ($105,000 if over 60 or disabled)
  • $7,500 in equity in a vehicle ($12,500 if over 60 or disabled)
  • $3,000 in furnishings
  • $2,000 in watches and jewelry

Some exemptions are doubled for a married couple. There are dozens of other exemptions (and exceptions to the rules). I will not submit your bankruptcy petition until I am sure that I have protected your assets to the extent possible.

What Assets Are Not Exempt?

Some assets cannot be shielded in bankruptcy, such as non-homestead property (e.g., a vacation home), tax refunds, cash savings or stocks, boats and recreational vehicles, and firearms, jewelry or luxury items not covered by the statutory allotment. It will be necessary to surrender these assets to the trustee or "buy them back" through a financial agreement with the trustee. If you have substantial assets that cannot be exempted, it may be necessary to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Loveland, Fort Collins, Greeley and Beyond

To discuss exempt property and all concerns about bankruptcy, call me at 970-667-2101 or e-mail me to arrange your free consultation, including evening appointments.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.