How to Value Assets on Your Bankruptcy Petition

Calculating asset value for Utah bankruptcy filing

Bankruptcy can help you secure a brighter financial future, one without overwhelming debt. The process starts when you file the required forms and documents (also called the bankruptcy petition, statements, and schedules) with the court.

The schedules for your personal bankruptcy must include not only your income, expenses, debts and liabilities, but also your assets. Just listing your property isn’t enough – you’ll also be asked to provide a value for each asset.

In bankruptcy, the current value of an asset represents the amount that a willing and reasonable person would pay to own the asset, given the item’s age and condition. The trustee or your creditors can challenge your property valuations, so getting assistance from an experienced bankruptcy attorney may be in your best interests. Before filing your case, there are a few ways you can determine the value of your assets.

Valuing a Motor Vehicle

To pinpoint the current value of your car or truck, you can turn to a number of sources:

  • Trade publications – The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) guides or Kelley Blue Book can provide you with an estimate of your vehicle’s value, based upon the year, make, model, mileage and general condition.
  • Comparable vehicle prices – Checking online auto sale sites, newspaper advertisements and local used car dealerships can help you determine what your vehicle is currently worth.
  • Professional appraisal – For the most accurate reflection of your car or truck’s current value, you may need to get it professionally appraised.

Valuing Household Goods

Most household items decrease in value quickly after being purchased. To value your clothing, home furnishings and electronics, you can use one of these methods:

  • Comparable sale prices – Visit local thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales or scour online sales and auction sites to see what similar items are currently selling for.
  • Professional appraisal – If the bankruptcy trustee appointed to your case doesn’t agree with your property valuations, you may be required to seek out the services of an appraiser.

Valuing Jewelry, Furs & Collectibles

If your list of assets includes jewelry, fur or collectible items, you must to be careful to avoid trouble with the bankruptcy trustee. To value these types of personal property consider the following strategies:

  • Limited value items – For items like costume jewelry, a standard wedding sets or artwork, your best estimate of value will likely remain unchallenged. Your attorney will go over the value of these items with to make sure there are no red flags.
  • Valuable items – If you own any fine jewelry, furs or collectibles of considerable worth, you’d be wise to consider getting them professionally appraised before you file your bankruptcy petition.

Speak with a Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Improperly valuing your assets on your bankruptcy petition can be a costly mistake. Make sure your personal property valuations are on point, by consulting with an experienced local bankruptcy attorney.

At the Law Office of Davis & Jones, P.C., we’ve guided more than 20,000 Utah residents down the road to debt relief. Personal bankruptcy claims are our area of expertise, and we have a reputation for providing high-quality legal representation. If you’re planning to file a bankruptcy petition, contact our Salt Lake City office today schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss filing for bankruptcy in Utah.