How to Value Your Assets for Bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy you must list all your assets which can include a home, vehicles and other personal property. When you list your assets you must also list the value of your assets. This can sometimes become difficult as many people simply do not know the value of their personal belongings. When you list the value of your assets, you should list their fair market value (FMV).

For homes- the best way to get FMV of your home is through a real estate appraisal. Unfortunately, these are not free. However, you can also get the FMV of your home through looking at comparables in the neighborhood, asking your lender for the value of your home, and by using various real estate websites. Bankruptcy trustees usually take into consideration the cost of selling your home through auction when trying tto figue out your home's FMV.

Vehicles- Kelley Blue Book is generally accepted as a good source to value your vehicle. Again, trustees often consider administrative costs in auctioning a vehicle when assessing its value.

Personal property- when trying to value things such as your used furniture, appliances and other personal belongings, the generally rule is to think garage sale value. Ask yourself, how much would I sell this for at a garage sale or by listing it on websites such as craigslist? Also, take into account that is would be a "quick sale" so the value amount would probably be 10-15% lower than FMV.

Categories: Chapter 13, Chapter 7