Under the provisions of Chapter 7 bankruptcy law, all property you own that is not subject to exemption can be used or sold by the bankruptcy trustee to help pay your creditors. There are reasons you may wish to keep some of your non-exempt property, however, and the bankruptcy code provides a few methods for accomplishing this.
Keeping Non-Exempt Property
In order to keep non-exempt property and avoid having it be sold to cover your debts under Chapter 7, you may choose to give the bankruptcy trustee cash equal to the value of the property, essentially buying it back and saving it from bankruptcy. In many Chapter 7 cases, this is simply not feasible, as you would probably not have entered into bankruptcy protection if you had lots of liquid assets. However, each bankruptcy case is unique and there are plenty of cases where a debtor will have the means to provide equal value for non-exempt property in order to save it from liquidation.
An example of when this provision makes most sense is something like a family heirloom, which may not have a great deal of actual value, but is valued highly by you, the debtor, for sentimental reasons. In such a case you can pay the monetary value of the item, which is low, in order to keep it from being auctioned or sold under Chapter 7. This has the added benefit of saving the bankruptcy trustee from having to sell items of little actual worth, so can be beneficial for both parties.
Always consult a Tampa bankruptcy attorney about your assets before filing for bankruptcy. Only an attorney can help you maximize the protection of your property.