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Can I exempt stolen property in bankruptcy that I am trying to sue to get back?

Brooklyn, NY |

I have filed an application for a criminal complaint in Massachusetts against a former roommate, landlord, family member, for her refusal to produce about $20,000.00 of my property despite repeated attempts. I am on the verge of bankruptch in NYC, and I desperately want my stuff or the value of it. Can I exempt the value of my stuff up to allowable limits in hopes of its return, or the cash she may have to produce? It is so wrong that I may lose EVERYTHING, but the two suitcases I have in NYC and my laptop because of the illegal activities of another.

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Attorney answers 3


If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy a trustee has the right to take any money or property that is owed to you for the benefit of creditors. If you have a lawsuit against someone the trustee also steps into your shoes to get money for your creditors. You should speak to a bankruptcy attorney regarding you situation and see what can be protected if anything. Hope this helps..

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Your right (if any) to recover your property is an asset that you must disclose in your petition and that you can exempt to the extent of the available exemptions. In my opinion, the exemptions that would apply to the property itself would be the appropriate ones, but you should consult a local bankruptcy attorney to help with your bankruptcy.


Yes. The property or its cash value is yours up to the allowable exemption in NY. The real question is, what is the exemption that would apply. Do you use the personal property exemption if the items have been sold and hence no longer exist, or do you use the Federal wildcard exemption for its current cash value?

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