The bankruptcy estate is the list of all your existing property and property rights which the court has the right to govern. This usually consists of all of the property that is under your name at the time that you have filed for bankruptcy. The property that you acquire after filing for bankruptcy is not considered as part of your estate. But take note that while the bankruptcy case is still on going, the income and any kind of property that you acquired in the said time will still be part of the estate.
Below are some of the types of property which can be part of your bankruptcy estate:
- Any property that you own but do not possess (ex. Security deposits held by your landlord or anything that you have loaned to another person)
- Property that you currently own and possess when filing
- Any kind of property that you are entitled to receive (ex. Commissions, tax refunds, inheritance, insurance policy, salary, etc.)
- Any kind of property that you obtained within 180 days after filing (ex. Divorce settlement, death benefits or life insurance proceeds)
- Income that has been generated from the property that is part of your bankruptcy estate (ex. Royalties from a book you have written prior to filing for bankruptcy)
- Any appreciation in value of a property that you own after filing for bankruptcy (ex. Land, buildings, etc.)
On the other hand, do not also forget to ask the court if there are exemptions in your estate once you file for bankruptcy; since there are some states where they offer exemptions like the exemption in 401(k) plans, certain retirement plans and spendthrift thrusts. The reason for this is to be able to help you start over again after the bankruptcy case has been finalized.