Expecting A Visit: What To Know About The Bankruptcy Home Inspection

Filling out your bankruptcy paperwork can be a big job, but the results of a successful chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide filers with welcome debt relief. In most cases, your bankruptcy will be all over within a few months' time. Attend the two education classes, file the paperwork, and appear at your creditors meeting; it's simple and uneventful, at least in most cases. There does exist the possibility that the bankruptcy trustee will inspect your property. However rare this visit might be, it's best to be prepared for it, so read on to learn more.

What might prompt a visit?

It's safe to say that a home visit has almost become a thing of the past. Nowadays, the ownership of property and its value can easily be determined using other methods of research. There are only a few different scenarios where a home inspection might be in order, such as the following:

Your property list resembles a luxury department store's catalog

Bankruptcy trustees have several jobs to do in overseeing a bankruptcy. One of the most important of those jobs is to identify, seize and sell items belonging to the filer. The funds for the sale of items are provided to your creditors and help to reduce their losses through bankruptcy. If your list of assets contains high-dollar items like antiques, artwork, expensive jewelry, boats, and other high-net-worth property, your chances of a personal visit are increased.

You own or rent storage or safe deposit boxes offsite.

Many people use extra storage spaces for Christmas decorations and old furniture so using one doesn't automatically mean a visit is in order. The trustee may ask you to list (under oath) the contents of a safe deposit box or storage room, and if they are satisfied, no visit will be necessary. It should be mentioned that lying to the trustee or on your bankruptcy paperwork could mean a dismissal of your bankruptcy case.

You own a home that has seen better days

A home's value must be as accurate as possible since it might be subject to seizure and sale. Using a professional appraiser may be called for, but a home visit by a bankruptcy representative may also do the trick. A home that needs a new roof, has pest damage (termites) or other major issues won't be worth as much to the bankruptcy courts and they may not bother with a seizure of it.

They were tipped-off

Hiding assets is a big no-no and constitutes bankruptcy fraud. If your trustee was tipped-off that you own a boat or other property that you failed to list, you will be getting a visit. If the trustee wants to visit your property, you and your bankruptcy attorney will have advance notice of it. To learn more about bankruptcy property inspections, speak to an attorney from a firm like Wolfe  Jones Wolfe Hancock Daniel & South LLC.