In over a thousand Florida bankruptcy filings to my name, only 1 client has had a bankruptcy trustee’s representative appear at the debtor’s home for an inspection. This was due to a misunderstanding at the meeting of creditors.
The potential for a home visit is extremely rare and usually would be due to suspicion of fraud, hidden assets, or undervaluation of assets.
Since you sign your petition and answer questions at the meeting of creditors under penalty of perjury, it is presumed that the information is accurate, unless something leads someone to believe the opposite.
Back to the debtor who had the trustee’s representative come to his home…
At the meeting of creditors, the trustee asked the debtor what was the value of his household goods (furniture, personal possessions, dishware, clothing, lawn equipment, etc.).
The debtor replied: about $50,000 (Uh oh!)
The debtor’s bankruptcy petition had assets valued at far less than $50,000. I had completely exempted all personal belongings and household goods.
If the true value were $50,000, we would not have been able to exempt this amount.
When the trustee’s representative showed at the debtor’s home and looked around, he quickly realized the confusion.
The debtor had responded to the question of value based on what he thought he had SPENT on these items over his lifetime… Not what they were WORTH at the time he filed his case.
A big misunderstanding, that led to a few anxious hours, but was quickly resolved.
For the most part, garage sale prices are appropriate for most household belongings. Almost all of the time, the trustee is not interested in your couch, kitchenware, clothing, or personal knick knacks. But if there is something of unusual value, like an antique, or a plasma tv bought 2 months ago, then there might be a problem.
As always, make sure you disclose ALL assets to me and let me know if something is of unusual value. You will be pleasantly surprised how often it will not be an issue. And the fact that you did not try to hide something from your trustee will keep the trustee from digging further looking for more “mistakes”.
Call 407-749-0080 now for a free consultation to see how I may be able to help you become debt free while possibly protecting all your assets.