Property Acquired After Filing
The Bankruptcy process is complex and often involve aspects of all types of State and Federal laws. Property law is a key aspect, especially in property that was acquired after filing. Our Bankruptcy lawyers have extensive experience and training to properly advise you as these issues arise during the administration of your case. While a Debtor may have a right to represent themselves, it is not prudent to do so.
Property in a Cincinnati Bankruptcy
The lawyers at the Steiden Law Offices are experienced in advising clients how best to maximize their position in a situation where Bankruptcy is necessary. Steiden Law Offices has handled thousands of Bankruptcy cases in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area and this experience can be put to work for you. Call today to set up a consultation.
Selecting the filing date for your Bankruptcy case is important. When the Bankruptcy Petition is filed with the Clerk of the Court there are certain specific dates which are established and become significant in a Bankruptcy Case. The date of filing is known as the ‘Commencement Date’. The period of time before the Commencement Date is known as pre-petition and the period after, post-petition.
The Filing Date
This filing date is significant because as a general Rule, property which is or was owned by or in the possession of the Debtor on or before the Commencement Date is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court and certain actions by the Bankruptcy Trustee. If the Debtor acquires the property after the filing date, it is not subject to the administrative powers of the Bankruptcy Trustee or Court’s jurisdiction.
After the initial consultation and the decision to go forward and file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case, you will be provided with a Bankruptcy questionnaire to complete. This completed paperwork allows you to provide your lawyer with all the information necessary to create your Bankruptcy Petition and associated Bankruptcy Schedules.
It is critical to a successful result that you provide your attorney with all of the most accurate, up to date information about your income, expenses, assets and liabilities. There may be certain types of information which you might not think is important. If you have any doubt you should err on the side of disclosure and tell your Bankruptcy lawyer about it and let the lawyer decide if the information is relevant and important.
Selecting the Filing Date
Once all the pre-filing paperwork and preparation is complete, you and Counsel will decide the specific date to file your Bankruptcy case. The Debtor may have a piece of property or something of value for sale or may be receiving something of value from a third party. These type of events are important in selecting the filing date and you should alert your attorney about these type of events.
The Commencement Date
If the Debtor obtains anything (real or personal property) after the Commencement Date, provided it was obtained with wages or money earned after the filing date, it is not subject to administration by the Bankruptcy Court or the Bankruptcy Trustee. The ability of a newly discharged Debtor to begin to accumulate real and personal property is part of the concept of the Debtor’s Fresh Start.
Exceptions: Inheritance and Life Insurance proceeds
There are a few general exceptions to this After Acquired property rule. If the Debtor, within 180 days of the Commencement Date becomes entitled to inherit either through a will or through a policy of insurance on the life of another, these funds, proceeds and or personal property will be subject to the powers of the Bankruptcy Trustee and depending on their value, may be administered and distributed to creditors of the Debtor through the Bankruptcy Process. Sometimes events like these are foreseeable and the decision to file at any specific time, should take these types of events into consideration.
Exceptions: State and Federal Income Tax Refunds
Another established exception to the After Acquired property rule is that of a State or Federal Income Tax Refunds. If the Debtor is entitled to a State or Federal Income Tax return on the filing date for the year of the Bankruptcy filing, the refund will be subject to administration by the Bankruptcy Trustee, on a pro-rated basis as of the Commencement Date. The right to receive a tax refund is very predictable and consideration can and should be given to the amount of the anticipated refund when selecting the filing date for the Bankruptcy. Often times the refund is substantial and it is best to wait for the refund to be received before filing the Bankruptcy case.
Personal Injury Claims
If the Debtor has a personal injury claim which arose before the filing of the case, the personal injury claim will be considered a Bankruptcy asset on the date of filing, even though no injury lawyer has been retained and no court action started. It is very important that you make full disclosure of any personal injuries or claims of this type to your attorney so the claim can be scheduled in your Petition and Schedules as a Bankruptcy Asset. This is true even though the settlement and or proceeds may not materialize or happen until long after your Bankruptcy case is discharged and closed. The Steiden Law Firm has extensive experience with personal injuries as an asset in a Bankruptcy case and can properly advise you on this and all of the related issues which come into play during your case.
Injury Claim After Filing
If the accident or incident which gives rise to the claim for personal injuries occurs after the filing date of the Bankruptcy case, the claim and all of the settlement proceeds and or verdict are not part of the Bankruptcy case and neither the Bankruptcy Trustee nor the Bankruptcy Court has any jurisdiction or authority to take and administer the personal injury proceeds. Your Attorney will assist you throughout your case with issues related to after-Acquired Property
Finding the Best Attorney for Dealing With Property Acquired After a Bankruptcy
Steiden Law Offices’s seasoned and experienced lawyers will be with you each step of the chapter seven Bankruptcy process, sharing their training and experience and ensuring that you are advised at each milestone so that you can understand the nuances and ramifications of the filing as well as the decisions you may be required to make as the Bankruptcy case winds its way to the Discharge and closure of the Case. Keep in mind that your lawyer always has your best legal interests at heart. Call today to set up a consultation.