What property can I keep after a bankruptcy?

There are many different types of protected property that you could be able to keep after certain types of New Jersey bankruptcy, especially chapter 13. For example, you might be able to keep your car or your home. However, your situation is likely to require an exacting analysis to maximize asset retention while still appeasing your creditors.

Bankruptcy type is the main factor that determines which assets you could keep. For example, you would trade asset liquidation for debt forgiveness in chapter 7 bankruptcy. In chapter 13, you would set up a repayment schedule to handle your debts over a court-determined period of time, usually several years. 

One major unpleasant surprise that often faces individuals post-bankruptcy is the fact that some lenders retain their rights regarding collateral. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, auto loan issuers often have the right to repossess the collateral — your car, for example — for a loan that you have not paid. They would typically wait until after the court issued a bankruptcy decision.

In light of this and many other technicalities, your full debt-relief strategy would probably involve prioritizing problematic debts and persuading some lenders to waive certain rights. This process starts with an in-depth analysis of the various types of liabilities you have accrued, collateral which those debts are held against and potential post-bankruptcy rights of the lenders. 

Even emergency bankruptcies could help you retain your vehicle or get it back from an auto loan company. However, there is a relatively small window of time to accomplish this. Please do not take this as legal advice specific to any case. It is meant only to inform. 

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