Most bankruptcy law firms in Oregon and Washington have their clients fill out some kind of questionnaire as part of the bankruptcy filing process. Our firm is no exception, though we are one of the few that offers its clients the ability to fill out their questionnaires online. The fact is that it is an almost unavoidable part of the process. We aren’t detectives and only you can tell us what your personal property. Many bankruptcy clients forget that they are required to list personal property that they are paying on.
Often bankruptcy clients will believe that they didn’t need to list the car or the tire loan because they are making payments and don’t really own the collateral yet. But you do have an interest and the bankruptcy trustee still needs to be referenced. Other clients don’t list the car or the house because they don’t want to include the car loan in their bankruptcy. You still have to list it and doing so doesn’t mean that you are going to lose the house, or the car or the tires, it. Listing the property just means that the lender gets the notice that it is entitled to receive.
Given the expansiveness of the Oregon and Washington exemptions, it is a rare day that a client loses anything in bankruptcy. Generally you will have multiple options for dealing with a secured loan in bankruptcy, but you won’t have any options if you don’t let your bankruptcy attorney know about the car with the loan that you want to keep out of bankruptcy.