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Understanding a no-asset bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision, though for many people in Washington, D.C., it may be the only option. At the Ammerman & Goldberg “Bankruptcy” Law Office, we help people file for personal bankruptcy on a regular basis. Many of these are considered no-asset cases. If you fall into that category, you should have a basic understanding of what that process will look like.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 96 percent of chapter 7 bankruptcies are no-asset filings. These cases are characterized by the fact that the debtor does not have any nonexempt assets, and therefore, creditors will not receive any money.

This occurs because when you file, all of your property is placed into a bankruptcy estate. A trustee will handle your case, selling off your nonexempt assets and using those proceeds to pay off creditors. Any exempt assets are protected from that sale. In Washington, D.C., your exempt assets can include the following: 

  •        The full equity of your home or co-op if your dependents live there
  •        Up to $8,625 in appliances, clothing, home furnishings and pets
  •        Savings accounts for higher education
  •        Funds for cemetery or burial expenses
  •        Certain personal injury damages
  •        A portion of the value of a vehicle

You can also exempt the majority of your earned but unpaid wages.

It is important to know how to protect your assets through a bankruptcy proceeding, enabling you to hold onto the items that are necessary for day-to-day living. Our attorneys understand Washington, D.C., laws and how to protect your best interests during bankruptcy.

For more information on this topic, please visit our page regarding bankruptcy exemptions

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