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What Property Can I Keep After I File for Bankruptcy?

If you are considering whether filing for bankruptcy is the right option for you, but are concerned about your property interests, and whether you will get to keep your property, one of the biggest myths about bankruptcy is that you will lose everything during the process. This is not necessarily true.

Focusing on Chapter 7 cases only, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is commonly referred to as a “liquidation” case. This means that when your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is filed, all interest in real or personal property is part of your “bankruptcy estate.” A trustee is then assigned to your case to determine whether your bankruptcy estate has any property of value to liquidate, and to further use the sales proceeds to pay your creditors.

However, every state has a set of laws that exempt certain property from liquidation. California, for example, has great exemption laws that allow you to keep your car, your home, financial accounts, and other property. Most beneficial in the State of California is the “wild card” exemption, which allows you to keep approximately $30,000 in property.

The ability to exempt your property is not guaranteed, though. This is because the exemption laws are limited to certain values, which a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney will know how to apply in your case.

If you are wondering whether bankruptcy is the right option for you, but you are concerned about your car, your home, and other property that you are afraid to lose, contact this office to schedule a consultation and a review of your property interests.

Michelle Patterson Law

p: (619) 630-5282

e: michelle@michellepattersonlaw.com


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101 W. Broadway

Suite 1770

San Diego, CA 92101



Monday through Friday 

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


(619) 630-5282


(619) 393-0650

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This site is for information only.  The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  While we invite you to contact this law firm, contacting this law firm does not create an attorney-client relationship.  The information on this website is legal information, not legal advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a licensed attorney.  Michelle Patterson, Esq. is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California, and in the Federal Districts of the Southern and Central Districts of California (San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties.)   


*Payment Plans are available for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy clients, based on ability to pay.    

**Testimonials or endorsements on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 



Notice Regarding Debtors and/or Bankruptcy Filers: This office is a debt relief agency under the Bankruptcy Code. This office helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.


Notice Regarding Creditors:  For applicable cases in which this office is retained by a creditor, Federal law requires this  office to advise you that communication with this office could be interpreted as an attempt to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose.