Can I Keep My Property if I File a Bankruptcy Case?

Posted by Kevin Ryan | Oct 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

There are generally two types of consumer bankruptcy cases our clients file.  The first option we always look at is Chapter 7.  A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is a “liquidation” bankruptcy. Liquidation means that all of the non-exempt, non-encumbered property of the Debtor can be sold or traded for cash to pay the Debtor's creditors.    

When looking at the client's best options for filing bankruptcy, it is important that all of the client's property is identified and valued.  It is also just as important to identify any creditor who has claimed a security interest in the property. Finally, all equity ( value of property minus principal balance of secured loan)  must be determined.  

When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case there is a Chapter 7 Trustee appointed to represent the “bankruptcy estate.”  The bankruptcy estate includes all of your property.  At this point, the determination by the Trustee as to what property can be liquidated involves the Trustee's review of the debtor's Schedules A/B ( real estate and personal property, Schedule C (state law exemptions)  and D ( secured creditors).   

Your attorney should prepare your Chapter 7 petition to show all of your property, to claim all available state law exemptions, and to list accurately all secured debts.   If it appears that you are at risk of losing your property in Chapter 7, due to too much equity in property, then the attorney should discuss filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy the debtor keeps all of the debtor's property at the time of the filing of the case.  Chapter 13 requires a payment Plan ( Chapter 13 Plan) to be filed and confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.   The debtor's objective is to pay only what is required to be paid to priorty, secured and unsecured creditors while the creditors want to maximize what they get paid.   

The value of property, amount of secured debt and available state law exemptions affects what is paid to the unsecured creditors in a Chapter 13 case.    Creditors in Chapter 13 are entitled to be paid, over a time period between 36 to 60 months ( the max)  an amount equal to what they would be paid in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.   

About the Author

Kevin Ryan

"I'll never be the kind of attorney your creditors want me to be. I'll always be the kind of attorney you NEED me to be. Call me. I'll BE there for you. And I'll make them go away."  -Kevin Ryan, Attorney at Law Kevin Ryan is a graduate of the College of Wooster and the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. He is admitted to practice before all Alabama State Courts, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Alabama. The United States Bankruptcy Court is a part of the United States District Court. Since 1998, Mr. Ryan has represented thousands of individual clients in bankruptcy, criminal, divorce, probate, personal injury, and real estate matters.  Attorney Ryan is also a licensed real estate agent in Alabama.  He handles  Bank-owned properties, short sales, and conventional sales in addition to conventional real estate listings.   This wide range of experience enables Attorney Ryan to take a wider look at your legal matter. It is important to consult with an attorney who can see from experience how other legal issues may affect your situation, and advise you accordingly. Personal Info Kevin Ryan is a member of First Baptist Church in Silverhill, Alabama. He resides in Silverhill with his wife Jessica and their three children. Committed to helping our Clients achieve a fresh financial start Our practice focuses primarily on consumer bankruptcy matters under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.  Our law practice also includes matters where bankruptcy litigation, appellate work, or involvement in civil lawsuits is needed by a client.     No representation is made that the quality of any of these legal services is of higher quality than another attorney or law firm.   The United States Bankruptcy Code requires the following notice:  We are a Debt Relief Agency, which means we help people get legal relief from their Debts through the bankruptcy process. Interested in learning more about our bankruptcy attorney near Mobile, Alabama? Contact Us for help with chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy in Mobile, Baldwin and Washington counties. Education Juris Doctor, Cleveland Marshall College of Law, 1997 Employed full time as a paralegal while attending law school in the evenings. B.A., The College of Wooster, 1994 NCAA Div.III All Conference (N.C.A.C.) Football Team : Defense 1993; Most Inspirational Senior Award 1993; Co-captain 1993; Letterman 1991-1993; Phi Sigma Alapha Fraternity 1991-1994; Athletic Director Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice Alabama


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I'll BE there for you.

I'll never be the kind of attorney your creditors want me to be. I'll always be the kind of attorney you NEED me to be. Call me. I'll BE there for you. - Kevin Ryan, Attorney at Law