If you are struggling financially and are constantly being harassed by creditors over your overdue debts, you have likely considered filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a means of relief. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an invaluable legal tool which allows Americans to essentially push the restart button on their financial situation by liquidating certain assets to satisfy creditors, with any remaining debts being permanently forgiven at the end of the process. But what happens if you do not have any assets at all? Can you still file for bankruptcy?
Yes you can! In fact, most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases filed in the United States are no-asset cases in which a person does not have any non-exempt assets to be sold. If you do not have any assets or if all of your assets are protected under state exemptions, your bankruptcy trustee will not be able to sell any of your property and will instead file a no-asset report for your case. In other words, you will be able to keep what you own and your creditors will receive nothing.
Assets which may be considered exempt during Chapter 7 bankruptcy in North Carolina include:
- Up to $35,000 in equity of any real or personal property used as a residence
- Up to $3,500 in one motor vehicle owned more than 90 days prior to filing for bankruptcy
- Up to $5,000 for clothing, household goods, furnishings, and appliances
- Personal injury and wrongful death compensation
- Certain college savings accounts up to $25,000
- Prescribed health aids
- Up to $2,000 worth of tools, books, and other items involved in a trade
- Most retirement accounts and pensions
- Child support, alimony, and other maintenance payments
Many of these exemptions double for married persons who file for bankruptcy jointly. In addition, some of these exemptions, such as those for clothing and other household goods, may increase based on the number of dependents within the household. While many other states allow debtors to choose between either state or federal bankruptcy exemptions, North Carolina law requires debtors to use state exemptions. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you take advantage of these exemptions in order to help you achieve a true no-asset bankruptcy filing.
Overcome Your Debt with the Law Office of Kimberly A. Sheek
Regardless of whether you have numerous valuable assets and property or none at all, filing for bankruptcy can be a complex endeavor and should not be handled alone. At the Law Office of Kimberly A. Sheek, our Charlotte bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the associated legal steps and provide the powerful legal guidance you need to ensure your best interests are guarded. To find out more about how we can get you on the road towards a debt-free future, call us toll-free at (704) 842-9776 or contact our office online today.