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St Louis Bankruptcy: Can The Bankruptcy Court Take My Clothes And Jewelry?

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In 99.9% of all St Louis bankruptcies, the Trustee cannot take any of your household goods or jewelry. This is because your attorney will make use of certain exemptions to cover the value of those items. And more specifically, the “garage sale value” of the items in question.

When you file a bankruptcy in Missouri, you have a duty to disclose to the court the ownership of all your possessions and assets (no, “disclose” does not mean giving away everything to the court; it simply means that you must make the court aware of your possessions and assets; in other words, it wants to see a list of your stuff). Once the Bankruptcy Trustee has a chance to review this disclosure, then he or she can determine whether or not there is anything you own that can be liquidated (in other words, sold).

But the way in which a person makes sure that they keep all of their possessions is by making use of statutory exemptions. For example, in the state of Missouri, an individual filer may use up to $3,000 of exemptions in household goods to protect them. This means you would need to determine the value of your household goods, and then see if the value of those goods is more or less than $3,000. If the value is more than 3K, then there is a (slight) possibility that the Bankruptcy Trustee will want to sell those goods. And of course the reason why he would want to sell those unexempted goods is so that he can give the proceeds to your creditors (especially the ones that subject to a discharge).

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So how do you in fact make sure that these possessions stay safe? The court allows you to give the items in question the same value that you would fetch in a garage sale. So imagine you have a great big yard sale. You put all of your earthly possession out for display. And a college freshman comes walking down the street with idea of furnishing his apartment. What is he going to pay? Not much, right? That’s because he is hunting for things at a garage sale (and therefore expects that the items will be sold at a very cheap rate).

This is value that your attorney will ask you to ascribe to your own possessions. And if after you perform this duty, the garage sale value of your things still exceeds $3,000, then it is possible that the Trustee will be interested in taking a look at your stuff.

The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at Brinkman & Alter, LLC have been saving and protecting people’s assets for years. Our goal is to make sure that you keep the assets and property you want, discharge the debts that you want to get rid of, and do it all at an affordable cost to you. All phone conversations and office consultations are free of charge.

We have two locations: in the Central West End of St. Louis, at 1 North Taylor (on the corner of Taylor and Laclede), 63108; and in the Twin Cities of Festus / Crystal City, at 1000 Truman Blvd (Highway 61/67), 63019. The initial consultation to discuss your debt related issues is free of charge. So contact us today to learn more!!

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