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I've heard that people going through bankruptcy can have their homes searched for assets. What can they and cannot search?

Las Vegas, NV |

My husband and I are about to contact a lawyer to file for bankruptcy. But I want to have all my ducks in a row before we do. My elderly mother lives with us but she is technically her own household as she does pay us rent and we don't claim her on our taxes. If they search our home can they also search her bedroom or would it be treated as if she is a roommate? Can they search my 20 year old daughters room as well? She is our dependent, is in collage and would feel horribly violated by this.

Attorney Answers 3


That horrible ad you saw on tv was pulled by the state bar association as being unethical. Unless the court has some very specific reason to believe that you lied on your bankruptcy paperwork, no one will come to your house to search your belongings. The court has other ways of obtaining information about what you own, but most of the time, the court will accept what you say because your attorney will insist that you tell the truth and your attorney's good name & hard work will help protect you.

Hope this perspective helps!

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I agree with Dorothy: You've heard wrong. This is not how bankruptcy law is practiced, and the trustee is not going to search your home. Your main responsibility as a debtor is to be honest and forthright about all of your financial information while preparing your filing. As long as you give your attorney complete and accurate information, you shouldn't have any problems or surprises during your bankruptcy.

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First, I am glad to hear you have decided to retain an attorney. They will be your best resource and advocate throughout the process to help you. Make sure you disclose all of the above information regarding your living circumstances with your mother to your attorney. There is a place in your bankruptcy for the attorney to list items "held for another person," which may be used in your case. Be completely honest and you'll make it through without an issue. No searches to worry about! Good luck!

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