Filing for bankruptcy is a significant legal and financial decision for Georgia adults, and it can impact you for years to come. If you are considering this option, it is likely because you believe it offers you the ability to deal with certain types of debt in an organized and effective manner. While it is normal to feel hesitant to move forward with this step, it is possible that bankruptcy offers you the best way to secure your future financial interests and rid yourself of some of your unpaid balances. 

One of the reasons you may be hesitant to move forward with this step is because you have concerns about the potential impact this choice can have in your everyday life. For example, you may believe that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may come at the cost of your personal possessions. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy does involve the liquidation of some assets, it is likely that you will be able to keep most of the things that are important to you. 

Exempt and non-exempt property 

Chapter 7 is liquidation bankruptcy, which means that the proceeds from certain types of personal property will go toward the repayment of some balances. The things you own that qualify as non-exempt property are those that you will be able to keep. Non-exempt property includes: 

  • Reasonably necessary household appliances 
  • Furniture and things you need for your home 
  • Tools of the trade and items you require for your job 
  • Motor vehicles worth up to a certain value 
  • A portion of the equity you have in your home 
  • Jewelry worth up to a certain value 
  • Unpaid but earned wages 
  • Reasonably necessary clothing 
  • Public benefits and damages won through a personal injury claim 

While you will be able to retain many of the things that are important to your daily life, there are certain things that will be eligible for liquidation if you choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These include: 

  • Second vehicles or vacation homes 
  • Valuable collections, such as stamps or coins 
  • Family heirlooms 
  • Cash, bank accounts, investments and stocks 
  • Expensive musical instruments, unless you require it for work 

You do not have to allow concerns about losing your property keep you from making important and potentially beneficial decisions. If you are considering bankruptcy, you may find it helpful to learn about the possible ways this decision can help you effectively confront your debt problem and secure your financial future.