Make me a list of your assets, I say.

But I don’t have any assets, you say.

It’s a common misunderstanding that assets must have a high value. Assets are simply all the property that you have and includes every form of property not only real estate (the house, condo, vacant lot, commercial building and/or apartment building). All forms of assets must be disclosed if you file for bankruptcy.

Some of the most common assets that people have include:

  • Bicycles
  • Books
  • Cars
  • Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Scooters
  • Cemetery plots
  • Cremation certificates
  • Clothing
  • Jewelry
  • Coin collections
  • Computers
  • Accounts receivable
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Insurance policies
  • Stamp collections
  • Art on the walls

Assets that someone is holding for you and assets that are out of the country are all listed. There is even a place to disclose assets that belong to someone else that you are holding for them.

Assets are more than stocks and investments

Assets include future rights such as potential income tax refunds. Assets also include intangible things such as business goodwill, the right to sue someone, or stock options. All assets must be disclosed on the bankruptcy schedules and exemptions remove the exempt assets from property of the bankruptcy estate.

For bankruptcy purposes, it is better to err on the side of disclosing more than less. If an asset is listed and the trustee chooses not to sell it, you can keep it. If it wasn’t disclosed, the trustee can still come back years later and sell it to satisfy your creditors. The general rule is list it or lose it.

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