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Will I Get To Keep My Property During My Bankruptcy?

1 minute read Upsolve is a nonprofit that helps you get out of debt with education and free debt relief tools, like our bankruptcy filing tool. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we'll never ask you for a credit card.  Explore our free tool

In a Nutshell

One of the biggest misconceptions about bankruptcy is that you'll lose everything you own. But that’s not true. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court lets you keep some types of property up to a certain value.

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated January 26, 2022

It's a common misconception that filing for bankruptcy means you'll lose everything. But this isn't true. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court lets you keep your property up to a certain amount. Most people who own less than $10,000 in property can keep it all. If you’re filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you don't have a home, you should feel comfortable knowing that most people in your situation get to keep all of their property. In most cases, the bankruptcy court won't try to seize your clothes, furniture, or other household items.

It gets a bit more complicated if you own over $10,000 in property or unusually valuable items. In this case, what you get to keep depends on your state and the type of property you own. Each state has special exemption laws that allow bankruptcy filers to keep different amounts of different kinds of property.

If you aren't sure about how your state's exemptions apply to your case, you can contact a bankruptcy attorney to get legal advice.

Written By:

Jonathan Petts


Jonathan Petts has over 10 years of experience in bankruptcy and is co-founder and CEO of Upsolve. Attorney Petts has an LLM in Bankruptcy from St. John's University, clerked for two federal bankruptcy judges, and worked at two top New York City law firms specializing in bankrupt... read more about Jonathan Petts

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