When a person files for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee is appointed by the United States Department of Justice or the creditors in the case to assist in liquidating a debtor’s assets. The trustee gathers all non-exempt property, liquidates it, and then distributes the proceeds to the debtor’s creditors. Non-exempt property may include things like:
· Cash, above a certain amount
· A second car or truck
· Musical instruments, provided that the debtor is not a professional musician
· A second home
· Collectible valuables (stamps, memorabilia, coins, etc….)
In an interesting twist to the Casey Anthony story, NBC News reports that the trustee administering her bankruptcy is seeking to sell the rights to her life story, in an attempt to pay her creditors. According to her bankruptcy petition, she currently owes a total of $792,119.23 and lists $1,084 in assets. The majority of her liabilities come from a claim of $500,000 from Jose Baez, the attorney who represented Anthony is the high-profile murder trial of her daughter. There has already been one offer of $10,000, the trustee claims that there are several interested buyers.
According to the NBC report, Anthony and her attorney are opposed to the sale. Their position is that there is no case law to support the argument that they can sell “property” that has not yet been created. They also argue that granting the trustee’s motion would create dangerous precedent for other bankruptcy cases; the point of bankruptcy is to give a debtor a fresh start, and selling off the rights to something that could be created after the bankruptcy is settled would go against that goal. In other words, if a court can sell off future earning potential a bankruptcy debtor would never receive the fresh start bankruptcy is designed to provide.
Contact a St. Louis bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation
The outcome of this case could potentially have significant implications for bankruptcy proceedings around the country, and it remains to be seen how the court will decide. If you are experiencing financial difficulty, bankruptcy may be an option to consider. Whether bankruptcy is right for you depends heavily on your circumstances, and a St. Louis bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine what the right course of action is for you. The Westbrook Law Group practices exclusively in the area of bankruptcy law and is committed to helping clients gain a fresh start through bankruptcy. In order to schedule a free consultation with Mr. Westbrook, call us today at (636) 493-9231. If you would prefer, please fill out our online contact form available on the right side of the page and a member of our staff will be in touch with you shortly.