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Sports Memorabilia in Bankruptcy

Can I Keep Sports Collectibles or Sport Memorabilia in Bankruptcy?

Collecting sport memorabilia can be an enjoyable, lifetime hobby.  If the hobby grows, sometimes it can even turn into a business.  Sports memorabilia can reach up to a very high value level for particularly desirable items.   Ball cards, autographs, and historical items can sometimes generate unbelievable sale values.  Unfortunately, even sports memorabilia collectors also find themselves in bankruptcy situations.  Can you keep sports memorabilia in bankruptcy?   The answer to this question usually is based on the aggregate value of the items.

Value is the Key Factor in Bankruptcy to Sports Memorabilia and Collectibles

We all know people who own thousands of well organized baseball cards.     We have seen entire houses decorated with sports memorabilia items.   The key factor to whether you can keep these items in bankruptcy is not the extent of the collection.  They key factor is the aggregate value.

During a bankruptcy case, you are required to total up the value of all of your assets.  This also requires you to total up the aggregate value of your sports memorabilia.  The total value of your memorabilia will most likely be listed under Section 8 of your property listing.  This section is entitled “collectibles.”  You will be required to use a reasonable method for reaching an accurate value of these items.  Rough estimates and personal knowledge may be a good place to start.  A professional estimator or appraiser may also be required to reach an accurate value.

The Bankruptcy Trustee and Your Exemption Protection

You will be automatically assigned a Chapter 7 trustee in your district when you file your bankruptcy case. This trustee will review your assets.  It is also possible that the trustee will require you to present your sports collectibles to the trustee’s personal appraiser.  This is allows the trustee to verify the value of the items that you have submitted on your bankruptcy petition.

Depending on your state, you are only allotted a certain amount of exemption protection.  This amount determines how much of your sports memorabilia you can keep.  In Indiana, you can use the “general tangibles” exemption that can be used to protect all of your basic property.  This exemption currently for $10,250 per person.  It doubles to $20,500 when a married couple files a joint bankruptcy petition.

Within Indiana, keep in mind that you will also need to protect your other property such as automobiles, furniture, and other personal items that you own.  This can deplete your “general tangible” exemption until much less remains to protect your sports items.  In such a case, you may only have $8,000, $6,000, or even much less to claim as an exemption on your sports memorabilia.  Also, keep in mind that every state varies on what exemptions are offered during a bankruptcy case.  In certain states, you may have a very limited exemption towards the specific purpose of retaining sport memorabilia in bankruptcy.  As with all bankruptcy planning, make sure to contact a local bankruptcy attorney.  They will be able to represent you in bankruptcy with a clear explanation as to what is possible in your area when you own expensive sports memorabilia items.

Image of baseball - sports memorabilia and bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Plan – Getting a Raise

What if You Get a Raise During Your Chapter 13 Plan?

Chapter 13 Plan – Getting a Raise.  What will happen if you get a raise during your Chapter 13 plan?   Is it a good thing or a bad thing?  Can it cause your Chapter 13 plan payment to increase?   Receiving a raise during your Chapter 13 case can potentially alter the pay-back requirements for your Chapter 13 plan.  It is important to understand a few general things about how a raise of income relates to your Chapter 13 case.

You May Be Under Duty to Report Your Raise

You may be required to report your raise to your attorney and the Chapter 13 trustee.  Generally, if the raise is substantial such as an increase of income more than 10-15%, you should always report it to both your attorney and the Chapter 13 trustee.  Although no increase in your Chapter 13 payment may be required, you are generally under duty to report substantial changes of income to allow these changes to be reviewed by trustee.

Raises in Some Chapter 13 Cases Will Not Increase the Plan Payment

However, in some cases, a substantial raise income will also cause the trustee to motion the court for an increase in repayment to your creditors.  In such cases, your Chapter 13 plan payment must increase to meet the new repayment requirements for your new income level.

The Chapter 13 trustee, however, usually does not want to unreasonable burden the Chapter 13 case filer.  The trustee does not want to overburden the case filers to the point where finishing their Chapter 13 plan becomes less likely.   Sometimes the Trustee will not seek the maximum amount possible with the income level (such as turning the whole additional raise amount over for a payment increase).   They will many times settle on a lesser amount negotiated by your bankruptcy attorney.

For more information on filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, check out our Chapter 13 Bankruptcy info.  Bymaster Bankruptcy Law Offices offers FREE consultations.  Call us today at 317-769-2244.

Chapter 13 Plan - Raise in Income

Chapter 13 Average Monthly Payment

What is the average Chapter 13 monthly payment that most people face during their Chapter 13 case?   Although an average amount can be estimated, different types of cases result in different ranges for calculating an average Chapter 13 monthly payment.  The average payment for a Chapter 13 varies within these various case types.

The Overall Chapter 13 Average Payment

The average payment for a Chapter 13 case overall is probably about $500 to $600 per month.   This information, however, may not be very helpful for your particular situation.  It takes into account a large number of low payment amounts where low income debtors are paying very little back.  Then it averages out the larger payments of $1000 to $2000 or more.  These higher-payment-cases are usually due to higher income and housing repayment requirements.   Cases in the $500 to $600 range are very common and reflect debtors who are usually paying at least one automobile through the plan and possibly some other “average-type” repayment requirements.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Payment Due

The Low-End Chapter 13 Payment “Average”

Cases within the $200-$300 per-month range (or less) are extremely common within the Chapter 13 system.  These cases usually reflect medium to lower income debtors who need to only address some basic repayment requirements.  Also, sometimes these lower-average cases are for situations where debtors are “forced” to file Chapter 13.  In such cases, the debtor cannot file Chapter 7 because they are currently “barred” (unable to file Chapter 7 because 8 years has not yet passed from filing of a previous Chapter 7).

Paying House Payments and Arrears Cause the “Average” to Be Much Higher

If you are facing foreclosure or are behind in house payments, your Chapter 13 plan payment will be much higher.  The “average” plan payment for such cases is usually closer to $1500 per month.   Sometimes it can even be much greater.  This is simply because the normal, ongoing mortgage payment along with the arrears must be fully paid throughout the life of the plan.   In addition, the Trustee usually charges a “conduit” fee to pay the ongoing mortgage payment through the plan.   The average plan payment is always higher in such cases.

High Income Bumps Up Your Average Payment

If you have high income, your “average” monthly Chapter 13 plan payment will likely be bumped up considerably.  Depending on the range of your income, your payment could raise much higher.  High income, high debt Chapter 13 filers very frequently face payments averaging in the $2000-$3000 range or even greater.  On average, Chapter 13 will force such filers to repay a high percentage of the debt.  Many times this will rise up to the 60%, 80%, or even 100% range of repayment.   Still, these debtors will receive all the benefits of the Chapter 13 including 0% or dramatically reduced interest rates.  They will also benefit from the rigid protections that Chapter 13 always offers.

Why Do Millionaires File Bankruptcy?

Millionaires – Why Do They File For Bankruptcy?

Millionaires file for bankruptcy due to the simplest reason: numbers.  They are always dealing with large numbers with their investments, assets, and banking endeavors.  Sometimes these numbers can quickly get millionaires into financial trouble that cannot be overcome without bankruptcy.

Millionaires’ Investment Downturns Cause Bankruptcy

Millionaire Bankruptcy

Investment downturns can be devastating.  We have all seen what the market can do to stock funds.  We have also all seen a business endeavor fail, even if it was only on a small scale.

The downturns that millionaires face with the business and investments that they own are multiplied due to the shear size of the numbers involved.   The asset sheet of a millionaire can decline rapidly.  These downfalls can quickly plunge a millionaire into financial ruin.  Sometimes only bankruptcy can satisfy all of their creditor obligations.

When a millionaire’s income source is strong and constant, they have the ability to indulge in an expense lifestyle.  If this lifestyle cannot be supported after a financial downturn, the assets of the millionaire are depleted quickly.   Some are unwilling to make major life changes quickly.  This is another source of millionaire bankruptcies that hit the headlines each year.

Millionaires will also have their Corporations File For Bankruptcy

The news also covers a multitude of millionaires that file bankruptcy cases on their corporations (that they own or partially own).   Bankruptcy is frequently the natural demise of any large business endeavor.  In fact, it can create a fair and proper venue for equally distributing the business’s remaining money and assets.  Sometimes, a Chapter 11 case can even result in the successful reorganization of the business. The news usually portrays these “millionaire” bankruptcy cases in a negative light whether or not the case was best for the corporation.

Millionaires Recover After Bankruptcy

Somehow millionaires frequently recover after bankruptcy.  Remember, millionaires usually know how money works.  They are also familiar with large numbers.  Millionaires frequently spearhead large projects even after bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy always offers bold relief after extreme economic downturns.  After bankruptcy, new financial opportunities abound.  Millionaires are not an exception to this rule by any means.  They are able to act on these opportunities and find financial success once again.

Build Credit

5 Ways to Build Credit

5 Ways to Build Credit

Building credit opens up a whole new world of options and savings that can be enjoyed throughout a lifetime.   Whether your credit is low or you recently filed for bankruptcy, you can still quickly build your credit.   Below are 5 quick ways to build the credit that you desperately need.

Settle or Dispute “Untidy” Credit Reporting

If you can settle debts that cause negative reporting, then you will be able to build your new credit on a solid foundation.   It does not matter how much new credit you can build if there are still several “untidy” spots on your credit report.   If you cannot settle the debt or if something is reported incorrectly, consider disputing the credit reporting.  Sometimes this can remove negative reporting from your credit report altogether.  If you face an impossible credit situation, consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Chapter 7 will also give you a solid foundation because it removes all negative reporting of your debts.

Acquire a Secured Credit Card Account

Consider setting up a secured credit card with a bank or financial institution.  This can be a very quick and easy way to build credit.  Make sure that you are able to leave a $500 to $1000 deposit or greater for the security interest.   You will need to find a bank or financial institution that offers secured credit card programs.  Not all banks offer these programs.   The credit that will be reported will be very beneficial.  It will achieve similar credit results as a normal credit card account.  The credit requirements, however, for starting such an account are not as strict or selective.   This can help get your credit reestablish your credit when no one is willing to offer you a conventional credit card account.

Small Bank Loan

A small bank loan is another quick way to build credit.  Whether the loan is secured or unsecured does not matter.  The bank will report your credit either way.  You can many times just start a CD account (certificate of deposit) with the bank where you will leave $1000 within the account as a security.   The bank may not require this and will simply offer you a $1000 loan with no security or restrictions.   If you can progressively build credit with 2-3 banks in this fashion, then you will always have a source for future loan needs in the future.   Over time, the bank will offer you much larger loans with no security required.

Affordable Automobile Loan

Affordable auto loans can also be a quick way to build credit.   Be careful.   Only purchase an automobile with a loan if you can afford to pay off the loan early in 1-2 years.   Although an auto loan can be a great method for building credit, high-balance and high-interest-rate auto loans can also easily drag a person back into financial problems.  Make sure that you can control and afford the automobile loan.   Place up to 50% down or greater when you purchase the vehicle also if possible.

Affordable Mortgage History

Eventually, purchasing a home through an affordable mortgage can also be a quick way to build your credit.  Home mortgages are usually long-term debts.  Consistently paying a large, long-term debt is one of the most powerful ways of building credit.  It can quickly build your credit up to the higher end of the spectrum.   Make sure to set up automatic payments with your banking institution.   Nothing builds credit more quickly and easily than setting up a payment (such as a mortgage or other loan account) on an auto-pay system.