Oliver & Legg
Call today for a free consultation
Local 732-988-1500


Filing for bankruptcy does not mean losing all of your assets

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also referred to as "liquidation bankruptcy." This can be a very scary and intimidating phrase for those who have spent a lifetime acquiring the necessities of life; those essential elements of the American dream, such as a home and a car.

Therefore, many people wonder whether the court will strip away their property and possessions if they file Chapter 7. In general, the answer to that question is, no. 

Good, hard-working people sometimes end up in financial hardship due to unexpected life events that are totally outside of their control, such as loss of employment, medical problems, family upheaval or failure of a business. The legislators who enacted the federal bankruptcy code recognized this fact.

The law was passed to give people a way to get out of crushing debt and obtain a fresh financial start. Taking everything away that a debtor has worked hard for would be counterproductive to this goal.

That is why both federal and New Jersey bankruptcy statutes provide  exemptions from liquidation for property that is necessary and helpful for getting back on one’s feet. These exemptions are generous, including specific amounts for equity in a home, household goods, clothing, jewelry, cars and even the full, accumulated value of many types of retirement savings accounts. There is even a wildcard exemption that allows the debtor to choose to what property it should apply.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney can analyze your individual situation before you ever file to determine whether all of the property you own is covered by these exemptions. If all of your property is exempt under the law, there will be nothing for the bankruptcy trustee to liquidate, and the remaining debts will be discharged.

However, there are still options if you have more property you want to keep than the exemptions allow. In such a situation, Chapter 13 might be the best option. Chapter 13 may allow a debtor to reorganize debts while keeping all of his or her property. The Chapter 13 debtor enters into a payment plan in which payments are made to the court for three to five years according to the debtor’s financial means. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Get A Free Lawyer Consultation

With offices in Toms River and Neptune, attorney William H. Oliver is ready to answer your questions and help you find the right debt relief solution. Evening and Saturday appointments are available. Call local: 732-988-1500 or fill out our contact form.

Email Us For a Response

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Toms River Office
609 Main Street
Toms River, NJ 08753

Fax: 732-775-7404
Toms River Law Office Map

Neptune Office
2240 State Route 33
Suite 112
Neptune, NJ 07753

Phone: 732-341-1550
Fax: 732-775-7404
Neptune Law Office Map

visa, master card, american express, discover network