• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Will File Chapter 7 But ASKING ADVICE

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



What is the name of your state? va

I have read some internet FAQ's and the sometimes not relevant to my situation type of posts here, as well as the sometimes humorous ones, which I appreciate !

I guess I am here asking for free advice.....any knowledgable input is appreciated.

I am a married male with nearly 40K in unsecured debt which is in my name.>>>most of the debt was acquired during my first marriage. My personal income is less than 30K yearly...and the only way that I have been getting by and paying the credit cards is by occassionally taking cash advances ...which worsens the situation. I believe I am a sure candidate for Chapter 7. I have never even heard of anyone in as much debt as I personally am. I have nightmares wondering if I am going to be made an example of in the media.

IMPORTANT FACT: The house and one of our cars (secured) is completely in my wifes name. (If there is one HUGE drawback to decision to take Bankruptcy...it is the uncertainty that she has over the security of this House which is in HER name)
can someone confirm that in my individual bankruptcy, SHE will not have her name and credit soured and the home will not be involved in proceedings?

Personal Property >>> I have almost nothing in personal property worth more than 1000, although I do have a 1991 Explorer, an antique clock which is a family heirloom, and I have been told that these things will not have to be parted with. (although I'd give someone a good deal on the Ford, I'll tell ya) Everything I have seems to say that I would not the this and that property...for instance, the computer, the furniture, etc.
Can someone confirm or deny my assumption that items under 1000 won't be taken? (generally) which is based on what I have read?

I have been told that to prepare for bankruptcy, I need to make a list of everything my wife and I own and it's value...even though it is ME ONLY that is claiming bankruptcy...is this true?

We have been married for barely two years....I had property, she had property, and very very very little have we acquired since we were married. When making the list of property that we have, do we distinguish such as HIS TV and HER JEWELRY?

Also, about this list of property that is to be made, I am supposed to put values on the things we own. I have REALLY racked my brain over this. Is the value of a piece of furniture, a couch for instance, $450 (what it was new three years ago) 0-$50 (what my experience tells me it could be sold for) ...and if the answer is the latter, where the heck do you get something to help you decide what a 10 year old TV is worth etc. ???

Also...even though I know that you report your property under penalty of perjury, does someone come to your house and go through it to see what property you have?

Final question (at least for now) I have operated a small service oriented business for the past several years that has generated only the meagerst of extra income. I usually file a schedule C on my tax return that lists what people paid me and what my expenses were, and it comes to less than $1000 bucks a year. However, I can assure you that my book keeping in this "business" consists of saving a few receipts, and yellow padding what I took in and what I paid out. I am asking,...in the bankruptcy process, how much of a role, if any, does previous tax returns play...and how thoroughly are records such as receipts and a federal schedule C scrutinized?




Some answers

We had almost $100,000 in debt. I don't know anything about you filing and her not filing. We both filed. We were both on the cars and credit cards so we both had to file.

We didn't have to give up any of our property. We have 2 cars. One is worth $300 and the other worth $1800. We have a computer that is paid off. We have a washer, dryer and fridge. We kept all of them.

I don't know since only one is filing. Ask your lawyer. about the list of property. As for the value of your property, it is how much you would get at a garage sale type sale for it. Our bed was over $1000 retail but you would only get about $200 if lucky for it at a sale. For your tv I would say $20. Look in the newspaper for misc for sale things. It will help you. Just think about what you would pay for something used and that old and in that condition. No one came to our home, don't know if it has even happened though.

Good luck. Stefanie


If you file on your own without your wife then only the debts that are in your name will be affected. The only way the house and car and her debts would be affected is if your name is on them. In the future if you and your wife apply for credit together then it would show up that you filed for bk.

As far as your household goods etc. you do need to use garage sale prices, lump prices together, such as clothes etc. and come up with something but your right a 10 yr old TV isn't worth much.

I would consult a bk attorney in your area, they usually give free consultations. If you don't feel comfortable with the first one, go see another one. Find out what your rights are.

As far as the schedule C, I think the trustee would look at that and might possiblly look at your receipts just to make sure your not trying to get away with anything. If everything looks in order they most likely won't question it anymore. If you see an attorney ask them if they have a feel for how picky the trustee is where you live, they might be able to give you a feel for what your in for.

Here are the exemptions for VA.


In general, a debtor may claim exemption of his homestead and certain personal property from attachment and execution of a judgment, or in a bankruptcy proceeding. Virginia permits every householder exemption of real and personal property from creditor process arising out of a debt, an amount up to $5,000.00 in value, and an additional $500 in value for each dependent. (VA Code 34-4.) In addition, Virginia provides certain enumerated poor debtor's exemption. Some of these exemptions include the family Bible, wedding and engagement rings, family portraits and heirlooms not to exceed $5,000.00 in value, burial ground, wearing apparel, household furniture and furnishings, book, tools, and motor vehicle not to exceed $2,000 in value. (VA Code 34-26.) Court award or settlement proceeds from personal injury or wrongful death actions generally are also exempt. (VA Code 34-28.1.)

In a bankruptcy proceeding, a debtor, who is a resident of Virginia, is not permitted to elect the exemptions provided under the federal Bankruptcy Code even if the federal exemptions may be more beneficial in his situation. (VA Code 34-3.1.)


Senior Member
A few comments...

They will NOT come to your home to check on your 'inventory' of property.

The BK forms DO have columns on the personal property pages that you use to clarify what is YOURS and what is your spouse's, and what is joint, so there's no worry she'll lose any of HER items. If you use the garage sale pricing, unless you've got some real luxury items, you won't 'lose' a thing, not even your heirlooms :)

Cash Advances -- these ARE subject to examination, depending on how 'fresh' they are and what you did with the money. If you used it to pay other bills or buy food, you're safe, but be prepared to defend any CA's taken within 12 months of your filing.


I filed in June on a total of $59000 in debt and I thought "oh, my god, I'm terrible, I can't believe I have this much debt...yada, yada, yada" and guess what???? I got to my 341 meeting and there were people there KEEPING $25,000 cars and $20,000 boats and I was worried about my 1987 Dodge Dakota with over 140,000 miles on it. YOU may think that your $40,000 is a lot but just remeber there are 100 people in the senate that have incomes over $100,000 and almost half have declared bankruptcy,...if that doesn't make you feel better how about this....DONALD TRUMP has declared bankruptcy....along with several of Hollywood elites! I personally won't walk around with my head hanging in shame after realizing that I was not a millionaire that got stupid with money....I at one time was young and foolish to the point that I couldn't recover.....my only regret is that I didn't do it(bankruptcy) 10 years ago instead of trying to dig myself out of my 20's. Now at 38 I have ten long years ahead of me that could have already been behind me.....
So, stand tall....walk proud and don't worry....your situation sounds very reasonable for a chapter 7....
P.S. Sorry about the rambling...too much caffiene today :)

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential