If I’m currently staying with a family friend and her husband files for bankruptcy, are mypossessionssafe?

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If I’m currently staying with a family friend and her husband files for bankruptcy, are mypossessionssafe?

The only really of value in the house is mine which is my computer and he said that the bankruptcy could come in the house and take whatever they want. Is this true; can they take my stuff? Other people have told me that they can not take my stuff but they live in other states. Does this also apply MI or are the laws different? What can I do to protect my things?

Asked on July 20, 2011 Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, not all bankruptcy filings result in taking and liquidating (selling) the debtor's assets; for example, Chapter 13 does not. So it may be the case that no one's assets, not yours and not theirs, is at risk.

That said, you should remove the computer and anything else of value if you can and keep it elsewhere. While legally, only the debtor's belongings--not those of guests or friends--could potentially be liquidated, the issue will be whether as practical matter, if it comes to that, does the bankruptcy trustee and court believe that this is your computer; or will they instead think it's really your freiend's computer and she is trying to hide it from the court and from her creditors?


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