[caption id="attachment_46024" align="alignleft" width="300"] Failure to list assets may make you a liar, liar, pants on fire![/caption]
What is an asset and better still, why do I need to tell anyone about it in bankruptcy? Let's start with the definition of an asset. Merriam-Webster defines an asset as something owned by a person. Merriam-Webster has provided a simple but most excellent way to describe the term "asset".
To determine if something is an asset, ask yourself, "Do I own it?" If the answer is yes, you MUST list "it". Please allow me to illustrate. A dog lives with you, do you list it? If you feed the dog and care for the dog, you probably own the dog. So list it. If the dog is not an AKC registered dog or does not qualify as a show dog, then the value is $0. I know, I know, the dog is part of the family and priceless, but no one else is going to pay a significant amount of money for the dog. Therefore, the trustee will not want the dog, but you have complied with your duty to list the dog as an asset.
Proverbs 12:19 says truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed. What in the world does this have to do with debt and or bankruptcy? Think back to the last credit card purchase or even a cash purchase that you made. Now I want you to be painfully honest with yourself. Don't worry, I cannot hear your thoughts so there is no reason that you cannot be honest with yourself.
When you made that purchase was it something that you needed? Really? Now let's say that particular purchase was necessary. What about other purchases over the past year? Were they all necessary or did you tell yourself a lie to make yourself feel less guilty about the purchase? You might have told yourself that you needed or deserved that purchase. Maybe you told yourself that you could budget and afford the credit card payments. Whatever statement you made in your head it was probably a lie to yourself. You might have told yourself the same lie over and over so many times you believe it to be the truth.