New Jersey Chapter 7 cases: Trustee can sell assets

Many people seeking the protections offered by a bankruptcy in New Jersey hope to keep as many of their assets as they can during the process. For many who file for Chapter 7 liquidation, the exemptions permitted under our laws may be able to allow them to keep some property. However, in some cases, the assets are marshaled by the bankruptcy trustee for sale for the benefit of the creditors.

This effort to repay creditors may have been the intent of a receiver appointed to oversee a Chapter 7 bankruptcy recently. The receiver set the terms for the sale of commercial property owned by an individual who had filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The property was to be auctioned last month after receiving a bid from a possible investor.

In an effort to comply with applicable rules, the receiver was forced to reschedule the auction of the commercial property. This was due to the fact that potential bidders had to be notified by publication for a period of four weeks prior to the sale. This time would allow any other potential buyers time to put in a bid for the property yet to be auctioned.

In New Jersey and elsewhere, one of the jobs of the person overseeing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to ensure that creditors are able to be repaid as much of the debt owed as possible from available nonexempt assets. In many personal bankruptcy cases, the filer is able to claim an exemption for their property and there is nothing left to be sold. However, when property is available and the receiver seeks a sale, they have a duty to try to get as much money as possible for repayment. This is what has occurred in the present case, and the auction has been reset.

When a person in our state finds that they are unable to pay the debts that they owe, they may seek a bankruptcy such as a Chapter 7. Such an action may lead an individual to consider which of their assets would be affected. Working to develop an understanding of all applicable rules may be a benefit to someone who is considering bankruptcy protection as a means of achieving financial security once again.

Source: Cedar Valley Business, "Wasendorf property auction being delayed," Jim Offner, Nov. 5, 2012

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