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TAMPA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY’S: Bankruptcy Liquidation Analysis 813-222-8210

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a liquidation of assets. In theory you must immediately turnover to the bankruptcy estate all assets that are not covered under your allowed exemptions, unless you purchase the assets from the bankruptcy trustee. Most people do not have assets outside of the exemption level, but you must seriously and truthfully review your assets with your Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney before filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy. About 19 out of 20 cases under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy are considered no-asset cases and do not call for the surrender of assets. This is to say that the vast majority of people under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code do not pay anything to their creditors.

How Chapter 7 Liquidation Analysis Works:

The focus of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is called Liquidation Analysis. Under Liquidation Analysis,once the Bankruptcy is filed, the Bankruptcy Court creates a Bankruptcy Estate. The Bankruptcy Estate is comprised of all of the Debtor’s assets and liabilities. Immediately after filing certain assets are exempted out of the Bankruptcy Estate and are returned to the Debtor. The exempt assets may include but are not limited to Home Equity, equity in a Car up to $1,00 per person, retirement accounts and prepaid college accounts, and other personal assets ranging from $1,000-$5,000 per person. Since most people do not have assets above and beyond the exempt assets most items are immediately exempted out of the Bankruptcy Estate and back to the Debtor. It is important to note that Assets typically do not change hands and most of this is just a legal process and not an actual exchange of assets. Typically most cases result in a discharge of debt without any contribution or payment from the Debtor. If a payment is necessary it is the Debtor’s choice to make a payment or surrender the assets. The typical case Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is closed and discharged in 4 months. Assets that commonly exceed the exemption value in Chapter 7 are: newer cars that are paid off, diamond wedding rings, real estate other than homestead property, bank accounts with significant balances, cars in property that are titled in your name but that “belong” to others, and tax refunds. Ownership of these assets does not frustrate the bankruptcy , but they should be brought to your bankruptcy lawyer’s attention early in the process. The key to a discharge in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Tampa is a truthful disclosure of assets. The main reason a trustee may ask the Bankruptcy Court to deny or revoke a discharge is dishonesty or hiding assets. To deny a debtor a discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4)(A), the objecting party must show: 1. The debtor made a statement under oath; 2. The statement was false; 3. The debtor knew the statement was false; 4. The debtor made the statement with fraudulent intent; and 5. The statement related materially to the bankruptcy case. Note that this is more than merely failing to remember an asset, to deny a discharge there must be a fraudulent intent or an intent to deceive the Tampa Bankruptcy Court. The result is that most cases run smoothly because most people will recall assets when asked about them. You have a right to amend the paperwork. It is that rare case where people go out of their way to hide and lie about assets that there is a problem. In over a thousand cases we have not had a client loose their right to a discharge. Click Here to learn about a Personal Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Click Here to learn about a Corporate Chapter 7 Bankruptcy