When you seek relief through Chapter 13 personal reorganization or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are required to disclose your income and your assets. Disclosing your income is usually quite simple. For most people, you simply provide copies of your pay stubs for the past six months and your bank statements for the past three months. If you are self-employed, our office has forms to help you break down your personal income in a simple and concise manner.
The main question my clients usually have is how to disclose their assets. The court asks that you disclose assets such as furniture, clothing, tools, televisions, and vehicles. The confusion usually doesn’t occur with what to disclose, but how to place a value on it. The value should be what you could get for the item if you sold it, not the replacement cost of a brand new item. There is no need to over think this process. Vehicles are usually easy to valuate due to online resources that provide a value after you enter simple information.
The primary thing to remember is to be honest. Recently, the trustee assigned to new reality star Todd Chrisley’s bankruptcy case alleged that he was not completely truthful when disclosing his assets. It wasn’t the fact that Chrisley stated his clothes were worth $650.00 that caused the trustee to take action; it was later statements that got Chrisley in hot water. On his reality show, he apparently states that they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just on clothing. This clearly contradicts his valuation that he provided the court under oath. Chrisley responds to this inconsistency with the idea that there is a limited market on used men’s clothing. While this could very well be true, that is still a large gap between his valuation and his statement that he knew would be aired on live television.
Again, the best way to avoid any kind of misunderstanding with the trustee is to be truthful. Also, our experienced attorneys can help with any question that you have while you go through this process. There is no need for you to go through this alone, and it is not advisable that you do so. If you need financial help, please contact our office nearest to you to set up a free private and confidential consultation with one of our licensed attorneys.