The need to file for a chapter 7 bankruptcy can create a lot of emotional stress. After all, no one sets out to get so far behind on their bills that they are unable to keep up. Some filers may also stress out about losing property during a chapter 7 filing. Several ways of hanging on to assets exist, however, and most ordinary filers have nothing to fear. If you are concerned about personal property like jewelry, read on to find out more.
Understanding Jewelry Values
It's important to understand how much value your jewelry holds before you make the bankruptcy decision. When you complete your bankruptcy paperwork, you must list all of your assets, including your jewelry along with the item's value. When listing your jewelry, exclude costume jewelry. List only items made with precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver or precious jewels like diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. Costume jewelry should only be listed if it's rare or highly collectible.
To determine the value of your jewelry, it might help to understand that jewelry has four ways of being valued. These include replacement value, which is often used for insurance purposes; market value, which is used for selling your jewelry; liquidation value, which is used for bankruptcy purposes; and estate value, which is used for probate purposes. A jeweler who performs appraisals can provide values for your pieces that you can include in the filing. Don't be concerned about listing your other jewelry, however, since you may not end up losing any as a result of filing.
Understanding Personal Property Exemptions
To help bankruptcy filers hang on to their property, there are exemptions. Exemptions can be thought of as dollar amounts can be deducted from property items so that filers can keep them. Every state has a different manner of looking at bankruptcy exemptions. Some separate real estate and vehicles from personal belongings, and some lump them all together. Some states have generous exemptions, while others are bit stingy; it just depends on your state of residence. Take California, for example. Filers in that state are allowed a very generous exemption of nearly $9,000 for jewelry. Additionally, even in states with small personal property exemptions, most bankruptcy trustees won't bother seizing family heirlooms and sentimental items from filers unless they are extremely valuable.
If you have a great deal of expensive jewelry, it's vital that you consult someone who knows about personal bankruptcy.
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