Part of the filing process in bankruptcy includes listing personal property and its value. In bankruptcy you refer to the replacement value or the amount it would be worth if sold by a retail merchant based on the condition and age of the property. Depending on the item itself, you’ll get an idea on how you should determine its value. Supporting documentation related to property values may be reviewed by the trustee upon request.
Household furnishings such as televisions, computers, video equipment, etc. are likely to have a value similar to items found in consignment shops or online auctions. Compare your findings and keep a record by noting the date and source you got your estimated amount from. Items that are really old and worn may have little or no value.
Personal property such as jewelry, furs and artwork may need an appraisal from a licensed appraiser or auctioneer. You can obtain a written appraisal for bankruptcy purposes from most dealers. Mention to the appraiser you want the current market value amount. For vehicles, the Kelly Blue Book, NADA or local dealer are source that can give a replacement value.
Failure to properly disclose assets and their respective values could jeopardize your case. You may not be granted discharge of debts and could face penalty fines. Being honest is an important factor; items need to have an accurate value to be eligible for protection through state and federal exemptions. Plus, appropriate documentation helps support values placed on property were made in good faith.
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