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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 310479  
Subject: Re: Throwing in the towel... BK inevitable Date: 11/20/2012 9:20 PM
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Can somebody please walk me through how to prepare for BK? I will hire a BK lawyer, but I'd like to get all my ducks lined up before meeting with one.

Besides the course that LWW mentioned, you will need to inventory everything that you own. If you file a Chapter 13, you will need to itemize your income and expenses. If you file a Chapter 7, you will be allowed to keep a limited number of assets. The rest will be liquidated (or repossessed.)

What will they take from me?? How will they know what I have (which isn't much at all)?
They can demand tax returns, bank statements, paycheck stubs. If they think you are hiding something, they will dig deeper.

I have no savings (only retirement accounts)
IIRC, your retirement accounts are sheltered... But don't think about adding chunks to them - They will see right through that.

Family jewelry? Rings, necklaces?
My engagement/wedding ring?

These are not titled assets, but if you get caught trying to hide them, you'll wish that you hadn't. Have you ever used them to secure a loan at a pawn shop, for example? Were they bought on a layaway plan? Were they listed in a will?

My car - I still owe about $13K?
If you're upside down in the loan, I'd probably let the finance company repo it.

What if I sold it to my husband?
There is no better way to incur their wrath. If you want to get your BK thrown out of court, that is one good way to do it.

Probably not a big deal. Unless you have a really killer wardrobe, used clothes don't go for much - Be conservative in valuing them.

What about the furnishings in our rented house?
You will have to itemize and value them. I took photos and clipped used furniture ads, to make it easy on them.

Again, please do not make me feel like a bad person for this. It has taken me a long time to come to the decision.
No problem - Unfortunately, unexpected things do happen.

Any insight on how I could keep my possessions would be greatly appreciated. I'm in VIRGINIA
A Chapter 13 should allow you to keep your stuff - Since BK is a Federal matter, I think the laws are pretty consistent, except perhaps for some exemptions that may apply from State-to-State if you file Chapter 7 - But, you really need to talk with an attorney!! They shouldn't charge you to discuss your options, and their fees. You should be able to talk with several, if you like, at no charge for the interview, and maybe a few backup questions that you might overlook during the initial discussion.

Also, I know that they cannot touch my retirement accounts and that my student loans will not be discharged.
I didn't catch this comment earlier, when you mentioned your retirement accounts - I'm pretty sure you are correct.

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