N is for No Asset Case
N is for No-Asset Case in the Bankruptcy Alphabet. Basically, this refers to a Chapter 7 case in which the debtor will retain all of his or her property. I'm not talking about any property that is secured (let's say a mortgage or a car loan), because you can decide, if you wish, to surrender an unwanted house or vehicle that might be over-encumbered.
The "no-asset" part means that Chapter 7 Trustee will not sell any of the debtor's assets.
The big distinction is between a corporation or an individual person filing a Chapter 7 case. Corporations cannot exempt (protect) any of their property when filing a Chapter 7 case. But individuals can indeed protect their assets. And in Pennsylvania, they can protect a lot of assets, because our exemption laws are quite generous, unlike in other states.
What gets me mad however is when I read articles (such as this one) in the mass media about Chapter 7 debtors having to liquidate their property after filing. The Chapter 7 Trustee doesn't arrive unannounced at your house in order to poke around your possessions. The vast majority (more than 98%) of all the individual Chapter 7 cases filed in Pennsylvania are "no asset" ones. So, after your Meeting of Creditors, the Trustee in your case will file a Report of No Distribution with the Bankruptcy Court.
Conversely, if your case is an asset case, then the Trustee will be the one to sell the piece of property and divide the proceeds between your unsecured creditors.
Moreover, a competent bankruptcy attorney will be able to advise you in ways to value your property and maximize your bankruptcy exemptions. Prior to filing your case, a good attorney will be able to tell you whether you will be able to retain all of your property or not. No one wants a surprise in their 341 Meeting of Creditors.
If you have questions about this or other aspects of bankruptcy law, please email me or type in a comment below.
Here are more contributions to the Bankruptcy Alphabet:
California Northern Bankruptcy Court from Marin County Bankruptcy Attorneyc Cate Eranthe at http://marin-bankruptcy-law.com/803/bankruptcy-a-to-z-n-is-for-california-northern-bankruptcy-court/
NACBA from Wisconsin Bankruptcy Attorney, Bret Nason at http://nasonlawfirm.com/archives/813
Naked from New York Bankruptcy Attorney, Jay S. Fleischman at http://www.consumerhelpcentral.com/bankruptcy-alphabet-naked/
Negative Notice from Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney, J. Dinkins G. Grange at http://jacksonville-bankruptcy-grange.blogspot.com/2012/02/n-is-for-negative-notice-local-rule.html
Never Cleveland Area Bankruptcy Attorney, William Balena at http://ohiobankruptcysource.com/n-for-never/
No Asset from Metro Richland Consumer and Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein at http://www.morethanbankruptcy.com/bankruptcy-a-z-n-is-for-no-asset-case.html
No Asset Report from Honolulu Bankruptcy Attorney, Stuart T. Ing at http://www.bankruptcyhi.com/2012/01/n-is-for-no-asset-report/
Non-exempt Property from Miami Bankruptcy Attorney, Dorota Trzeciecka at http://dorotatrzeciecka.com/2012/02/05/bankruptcy-a-z-n-is-for-non-exempt-property/
Nondischargeable from Metro Richland Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein at http://www.morethanbankruptcy.com/bankruptcy-a-z-n-is-for-nondischargeable.html
Nondischargeable from Northern California Bankruptcy Attroney, Cathy Moran at http://www.bankruptcysoapbox.com/bankruptcy-alphabet-n-for-nondischargeable/
Nondischargeable Dept from Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell at http://bankruptcyblog.caldwell-lawfirm.com/2011/11/16/bankruptcy-alphabet-n-is-for-nondischargeable-debt.aspx
Notice from Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney, Bob Doig at http://springsbankruptcylaw.com/colorado-springs-bankruptcy-abcs-n-for-notice/
Notice from San Francisco Bankruptcy Attorney, Jeff Curl at http://www.jclawgroup.com/blog/bankruptcy-alphabet-n-is-for-notice/
Notice from Taylor, Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Chris McAvoy at http://downriverbankruptcy.com/notice-creditors/
Notice of Rights to Claim Exemptions from Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorneys, Collum and Perry at http://www.collumperry.com/firm-news/notice-of-rights-to-claim-exemptions
Numbers and New Bankruptcy Laws from Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorny, Mark J. Markus at http://www.bklaw.com/bankruptcy-blog/2012/03/numbers-and-new-bankruptcy-laws/
Non-Attorney Bankruptcy from Livonia Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Peter Behrmann at http://www.livoniamichiganbankruptcy.com/n-is-for-non-attorney-bankruptcy-livonia-michigan/
Negative Impact on Credit and Bankruptcy from Philadelphia Suburban Bankruptcy Attorney, Chris Carr at http://christophercarrlaw.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/negative-impact-of-bankruptcy-on-credit-and-how-to-overcome-it/