8 Things You Might Not Realize Are Assets

Earlier, we listed several reasons why it is important to disclose your assets in bankruptcy. Fortunately, most people filing bankruptcy are honest hard working people who have no interest in cheating the system. They just want the relief they are entitled to under the law, with a minimum of fuss. Most asset non-disclosures are accidental, sometimes because it did not occur to the debtor that the item was actually an asset. In this post, I list several items that are bankruptcy assets, but easily overlooked or commonly forgotten.

  1. Lawsuits or possible lawsuits. Causes of action, i.e. grounds to sue someone, are assets regardless of whether or not a suit has been filed. For example, if you were injured, had someone breach a contract, or were a victim of a scam, your right to sue is an asset.
  2. "Heir property". If you have inherited property, it is an asset of yours, even if there has not been a final resolution of the estate and the title or proceeds of sale transferred to your name.
  3. Other people's stuff, titled in your name. If you put your name on a car title for credit reasons, or a relative put your name on an account or home for estate planning purposes, you are seen as a legal owner of the property. The "real" owner might have equitable rights, but this property is still an asset that must be disclosed.
  4. Your stuff, titled in someone else's name. Conversely, if property is really yours despite someone else being on the title, it is an asset. The common example is a car purchased in another person's name for credit purposes.
  5. Intangible property. Just because you cannot lay hands on something does not make it less of an asset. Have you taken photographs? Have a business tradename? There's intellectual property there, even if unregistered.
  6. Debts to you. If someone else owes you money, your entitlement to those funds is an asset. This includes business receivables, personal loans, and uncollected public benefits. A tax refund is similarly an asset.
  7. Security deposits. Believe it or not, people get security deposits back. A security deposit is an asset of the customer who made the deposit.
  8. Life insurance policies. Some forms of life insurance have value accessible to the living policy owner. Such a policy is an asset of its owner.

Remember, just because something is an asset, does not itself help or hurt a bankruptcy case. Contact us to discuss your individual circumstances and how your assets impact your options for bankruptcy relief.

Photo of Erich M. Fabricius

Erich Fabricius, a Raleigh Bankruptcy Lawyer, offers bankruptcy counsel to individuals throughout the greater Raleigh area. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is still an option for many consumers, and Erich offers a free evaluation to help you decide if chapter 7 is right for you. Erich's priority is getting each person the debt relief they deserve.

Author Profile Twitter LinkedIn Google+

Share this page:

This blog post is made available for educational and informational purposes only and to promote a general understanding of the law, and not to provide specific legal advice. Use of this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship. Reading this post is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice based on the unique facts of your situation from an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. No representation is made regarding the currentness of the information contained in this post. Examples that may be provided in this post are merely for illustrative purposes; the results in your case may be different and no results are guaranteed.