You can retain possession of some of your assets after you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the help of an exemption. Unfortunately, a creditor could file an objection to the exemption. If the creditor is successful, your asset could be taken and sold by the bankruptcy trustee. If a creditor has filed an objection, here is what you need to know.
Why Would a Creditor Object?
When your assets are taken by the bankruptcy trustee, they are sold and the funds raised from it are distributed to your creditors. The fewer assets you have available to sell, the less money the creditors can recover on your debts. It is because of this, a creditor is allowed to file an objection against your exemption.
All of your creditors are notified when you file for bankruptcy. After notification is sent, creditors are allowed a certain time period to file the objection. In order to object, the credit needs a valid reason. For instance, the creditor could argue that an exemption used is not allowed by law or that the value of the asset is not correct.
What Can You Do?
Once an objection is filed with the court, a hearing is held to determine the validity of the creditor's claims. You will have the opportunity to defend yourself and reaffirm that the exemption is being properly used.
If the claim is that the debt was not allowed by law, you need to prove it is. For instance, if whether or not you can keep your home is in question, you need to provide documentation showing that it does meet the criteria for the exemption. If the exemption allows you to keep assets totaling $25,000, you have to provide a valuation of your home that proves it is worth $25,000 or less.
If the claim is that the value of the asset is not accurate, you need to provide proof of the asset's value at the time that you filed for bankruptcy. For instance, if your car's value is challenged, you can submit the appraisal value of the car to the court.
Consult with an experienced attorney to get help with fighting an objection. The attorney can help you determine what additional evidence is needed and also present your case to the court. The attorney will also be familiar with your state's exemptions and know what is allowed so that you can possibly prevent objections from other creditors.
For professional legal help, contact a lawyer such as Donald T Tesch, PS.