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Bankruptcy chapter 7 or 13: are online bank accounts considered bank accounts? Pay pal, ING, moneybookers, etc?

Canton, MI |

The reason I ask is because most of these companies call themselves "money markets" and not "banks". Due to the interest I earn monthly I use online accounts instead of "real banks". I do have a "real bank" but there's only $200 in it which I will declare on my paperwork. But I don't see anywhere to include online banking or money markets, unless this should go in the "other" section? I have several hundred stored online in each account so I don't want to get in trouble.

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Best Answer

Bankruptcy Schedule B directs the filing party to "list all personal property of the debtor of whatever kind." Line 2 requires disclusure of "Checking, savings or other financial accounts ... ". Line 35 requires disclosure of "Other personal property of any kind not already listed. Itemize." You've incorrectly distinguished between online accounts and brick-and-mortar accounts. In reality, any and all assets that are yours must be disclosed. Retain an attorney to file the bankruptcy. Here's what happened to one bankruptcy filer who decided to play fast and furious over accounts: BLUE LINK BELOW

Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.



Thanks a mill!


Since the question on the schedules is not stated as, or limited to, accounts held in banks, it does not matter what they are called. If you have money there, it counts.



Thanks so much!


We are seeing all kinds of new-fangled accounts - payroll, unemployment, & social security debit cards. No matter what they call these things, they are deposits of money & most bankruptcy folks will call them bank accounts. Hope this perspective helps!


Remember that line from Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive: "What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse." I can't say it as well as Tommy Lee (and nobody's giving me an Oscar anyway, so why try?), but it goes something like this: Schedule B must list every form of account or stash of cash wherever it may be, online, offline, under the mattress, in the mattress, in the drywall, under a brick wall, gold-you-melt, garter belt, the list goes on....

This answer (by San Diego bankruptcy attorney, Asaph Abrams) doesn’t address all facts & implications of the question; it’s general info, not legal advice to be relied upon and exceptions may apply. It creates no attorney-client relationship; it may be pertinent only to CA and/or its Southern District Bankruptcy Court in San Diego. It’s independent of other answers. It may be time sensitive, as in past the “Use by” date: laws and case law change. Hire a bankruptcy lawyer before acting or refraining from bankruptcy or other legal action.



Asaph, you the coolest atty ever! I love that flick and wish everyone could simplify things in "common people terms". Thanks so much for the knowledge and the laugh! I'm ready to do this right! Online accounts are kind of a gray area in MI. My lawyer asked me "what is pay pal?", "what is ING?", so I got very hesitant as to if I was getting correct info or not. He thought it was nothing and, quote "just a website". I explained the website has money on it but he still didn't understand, but I felt like this needs to be on the papers because I am net-savvy and I know I need to state all assets. It just felt "wrong" when he said I didn't have to because its "just a website" that I don't own. Is there anything I can reference my "outdated" lawyer to about this? He does not even use email.



Mr, meyers article was great but if there is something more I can direct him to, I think it will really help others because, basically, my lawyer is giving wrong advice, but not on purpose.


In my opinion yes all of the accounts that you have listed in your question
are bank accounts and must be listed in your bankruptcy schedules. If you
owe any of these entities money, then it is a debt and if you have a credit
balance with them, then it is an asset.

Patrick M. O'Reilly

Attorney at Law

12845 Farmington Rd.

Livonia, Mi 48150

ph: (248)-396-7590

Fax: (248)-281-0951

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