If I File A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Will Someone Come Out To Inspect My House?

by Kevin Gipson, New Orleans Bankruptcy Attorney

November 27, 2009

It is unlikely that someone will come out to your house to do an inspection when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

There are only two practical reasons that the bankruptcy court would have a reason to send someone to inspect your property.

The first reason the court might take an interest in your house or the contents of your house is if the trustee determined that the house or some of your belongings were available to your unsecured creditors to pay them for the amounts that they are owed.  Assets that are available to your unsecured creditors are known as “non-exempt” assets.

Exemptions for a house and personal belongings vary from state to state:  Some states have their own state exemptions, some states use federal exemptions contained in the bankruptcy code, and some states permit the debtor to choose between the state exemptions and the federal exemptions.

If a house has non-exempt value, then it is possible that the court, through the trustee, may send an appraiser out to do an estimate of the value of the property, or send a real estate agent out to list the property.

A second reason that someone might come out to inspect your house would be if the trustee had reason to believe that the you have provided inaccurate information about the value of the house or the value or existence of personal belongings.

As a debtor in bankruptcy you have an obligation to list all or your assets and liabilities.  Failure to list an asset may be considered to be an attempt to defraud or mislead the court and can result in a delay or dismissal of your bankruptcy, or the even more serious penalties of fines or jail time.

The risk of untruthfulness in a bankruptcy proceedings is discussed in this post, “Tell The Truth In Bankruptcy”.

Contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney such as one of the attorneys in the Bankruptcy Law Network to get accurate advise on your rights in bankruptcy.

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I've been a consumer bankruptcy lawyer for nearly 25 years. Since that time I have helped many people resolve their financial problems. I have been practicing law since 1986 and I am licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of Louisiana. Because I am a sole practitioner, you know that your debt matters are being handled by me personally. In addition to my work with consumers, I am also frequently asked to speak at local seminars on bankruptcy law. I am member of the following organizations: • Louisiana Bar Association • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys • Bankruptcy Law Network My office is located at: 3920 General DeGaulle Drive, New Orleans, LA 70114 Telephone: (504) 368-4101

Last modified: February 24, 2013