When you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy, everything you own becomes part of what is called "the bankruptcy estate". The Chapter 7 trustee, who is appointed by the court to review your case, controls the bankruptcy estate. Until the trustee releases his or her interest in an asset, you may not do anything with the asset. This includes selling an asset or borrowing money against the asset such as refinancing a house. There are two ways that the trustee can release the interest in an asset. One is by formally abandoning their interest in the asset. This can be done at the Meeting of Creditors or later through the court. The trustee may also issue a no asset report. This tells the Court and everyone else involved in the case that the trustee has reviewed the case and does not believe that there is anything the trustee wants to take to recover money for the asset. Until the trustee has taken one of these actions, you may not sell anything you own or refinance a loan.
For more information on the trustee's role in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, read my article on the role of a Chapter 7 trustee.
If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, do not attempt to do this on your own. Contact me or call me today at 757-276-6555 to schedule a free consultation on how bankruptcy can help you.