Bankruptcy, will I lose my guitars?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by RiverDog, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. RiverDog

    RiverDog Tele-Afflicted

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    I think my wife and I have decided to file chapter 7. We're just not digging out of our debt and it's stressing the whole family out. What we owe each month is more that we make. We don't own a home anymore. We have two cars that are 8 and 9 yrs old and both are barely hanging on. Old TVs, a couple of laptops my kids use for school, and my son's Xbox 360.

    I don't want to debate whether it's the right thing to do or whatever. I just wondered if anyone her knows more about it than the little I have learned through online research. Part of what I was reading was this:

    Items you must typically give up (nonexempt property) include:

    * expensive musical instruments (unless you're a professional musician)
    * stamp, coin, and other collections
    * family heirlooms
    * cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and other investments
    * a second car or truck, and
    * a second or vacation home.


    My guitars are certainly not expensive. I have a CV 50s Tele, an Epiphone G400, a Martin D-1 (which is probably worth about half of the $675 I paid after my son knocked over a heavy candlestick and cracked/dented the top), A Roland Micro Cube, and a Vox VT30. Am I correct in thinking they are not worth enough for the court to take and sell? Anything else I should know about?

    Even typing this is stressing me out. I hate money!
     
  2. ThreeChorder

    ThreeChorder Tele-Meister

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    I guess "expensive" is in the eye of the beholder. My wife thinks $379 for a Squier CVC is expensive.

    Good luck to you man! I was in your area earlier this year. I see it's been hit pretty hard.
     
  3. tazzboy

    tazzboy Former Member

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    Sell the second vacation home Do you use it anymore?
     
  4. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Stash the guitars at a family member or friends. I doubt the go after them in reality
     
  5. bossaholic

    bossaholic Friend of Leo's

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    "expensive" is a such a vague word. I wouldn't sweat having to give up your guitars, even if you had an old Broadcaster (beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

    The only thing the courts and creditors are interested in is real estate and investments and only if they are substantial and easily liquidable.
     
  6. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Ad Free Member

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    Your guitar stuff certainly doesn't sound like it would qualify as "expensive", I wouldn't sweat it. Good luck!

    Tim
     
  7. kingfish

    kingfish Tele-Holic

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    I don't think you'll have any problems. To me, that would be like having the court seize your wife's pots and pans, or the kid's stuff.

    I don't think they dig down that deep. At least I HOPE they don't!

    Hang in there.
     
  8. Good Iron

    Good Iron Poster Extraordinaire

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    Try to work out another remedy and stay away from filing if you can. Lots of options out there. I am not a lawyer, accountant, or a banker so I won't give you advice... oh I just did! :neutral:

    I ditto "hang in there"

    Good Iron
     
  9. Good Iron

    Good Iron Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh and you gotta love the family heirlooms one... bastards!!! :eek:

    Good Iron
     
  10. Breen

    Breen Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think he has one, he was listing items that could be warranted as collateral. Just pointing this out. He has listen what he owned in the first paragraph.

    TS, I pray you guys get over this hill and over the debt as quickly as cleanly as possible.
     
  11. ibobunot

    ibobunot Poster Extraordinaire

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    They're looking for high value collectibles & heirlooms.
    You don't have anything to worry about.
     
  12. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I went through this almost three years ago. I reported owning a Tele and the judge actually asked me about it, but he gave up on it after I told him I'd built it myself from parts.

    My advice is this: they will ask about whatever you report owning. Your cars are probably ok because they are fairly old and presumably your wife owns one of them and you own one, and you'll need them to get to work and drive the kids around. The laptops are the kids', not yours, and they need them for school. Outside of that I would not report owning anything of value, and in my opinion the guitars are items of value. Give them to a relative or trusted friend, or sell them for $1 to someone who can be trusted to sell them back after your case is closed.

    Please note that I am not a lawyer and am only basing this on my own experience. While sitting waiting for my turn before the judge, I listened carefully to the questions he asked the people ahead of me, and the answers they gave. People who show up in bankruptcy court owning things like ATVs and extra-large flat screen TVs may have to give those items up. Part of the court's responsibility is to make sure that your creditors get back as much as they reasonably can, so if you own a bunch of guitars and amps that together might be worth $1,000, and you are not depending on them for your income, the court may well see that as something you can do without.

    Also, if I may give a piece of unsolicited advice... if you happen to own any family heirlooms, such as a watch that belonged to your grandfather... don't wear it to the hearing.

    As Good Iron points out, it's better to avoid filing if possible. I have a decent-paying full time job but nearly three years after filing, I still don't qualify for a credit card, much less any kind of loan. Also, I'm still in debt. Remember, bankruptcy doesn't touch certain types of debt, such as student loans, so make sure you know going in what debt will be lifted and what debt will not be. Good luck.
     
  13. StephenX

    StephenX Banned

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    I worked 5 years for a bankruptcy attorney and I can tell you that this is a heartbreaker. As others have said, don't worry about your guitars. Worry about IRS,student loans and child support. None of these can be written off.
    It is certainly not the end of the world; tough call but I got out of major debts by filing.
     
  14. JPW2105

    JPW2105 Tele-Holic

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    Give it a trusted third party until the dust has settled.
     
  15. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Sounds like this is mostly credit card debt? If so, there are ways to avoid bankruptcy and negotiate better terms and payment schedules. Just don't use one of those services that advertise on the radio and TV.
     
  16. pjholland

    pjholland Tele-Holic

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    Yes, bankruptcy will help you get out of debt but do you want it hanging over your financial head for what-7 years? My only advice is to seriously trim your budget. You're obviously still paying for internet service. Get rid of your wants and stick to your needs-food, shelter,clothing,etc.
     
  17. telepathetic

    telepathetic Tele-Afflicted

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    I filed bancruptcy in '79. I had to do it again in '92 (schizo-hooker wife ran off and put me $40 grand in the hole on credit cards just as I lost my job).
    Nothing I owned at the time would fall into the "expensive" category. The most valuable at the time was a 6 year old Les Paul Studio. Guitars were not declared so they didn't go away.
    I wouldn't classify what you've listed as "expensive".
     
  18. mako224

    mako224 Banned

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    You don't own a house. You own a couple of cars that likely are not worth much. You really don't have much a creditor woult want to take. I'd say tell your creditors to go pound and that you will pay them when you pay them. Just pay the essentials, rent, electric, water. Cut off the cable tv and internet. Don't let the collection threats get to you as they can't get blood from a stone.....you know that and they know that. If you owned a home or had other tangible assets my advice would be different.
     
  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I disagree somewhat with our august Moderator.

    Forget whatever ya'll remember about Bankruptcies from 10 years ago. They changed the law and it can (depending on the locale somewhat) be pretty ugly now.

    This is not legal advice but I think you can expect to have to borrow some cash from family and friends to bail out your favorite guitars. In the past I would wager they'd regard them as "unworthy of administration" unless over a grand apiece but not any more.

    I hate to say this, but I'd cry tough and hold that Bankruptcy card in your hand just in case you have a family illness with big medical bills in the near future, or something like that that really makes it impossible to keep going. That's now what 7 filings are for, these days. Total wipeouts, not a reprieve from a situation you may be back in in 2 years from now.

    But I do agree with Tim in wishing you some good mojo with the trustee and others you're assigned to. Take care!
     
  20. jwsamuel

    jwsamuel Friend of Leo's

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    +1 on that. My elderly mother got involved with one of those outfits and all they did was take $1,800 a month out of her checking account for six months. They told her not to talk to any creditor who called her. Every time she called them to ask about the calls she was getting, they said they were taking care of everything and not to worry.

    I have since taken over my parents' finances and have been able to get a couple of their credit cards to cut the balance due by 50%.

    Jim
     
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