While Rome is burning, all Americans care about is their stuff and how much of it they can accumulate. This idea is embedded in modern society. It begins with little kids learning the word, mine. I was raised in a different generation and if that word came out of my mouth I got the tar beat out of me. Now the new parents think their little prince/princess can do no wrong and it’s cute. This behavior has carried on into the teenage years to where a kid gets their driver’s license and they have this crazy idea that they are owed a new car. Well every other kid is given one, why shouldn’t they? Then it’s time to go to college and it’s not good enough to go to junior college, but a prestigious four-year university is more right in line with the way they’ve been raised. This my friends is the entitlement generation and it’s all about self gratification and gathering more stuff. Instead of going into eternal debt, these kids should be asking themselves the question, is college really worth it? In America today, this entitlement generation is creating a new bubble, it’s the student loan bubble. In 2013, student loan debt surpassed $1 trillion and with no jobs to help these graduates make payments, it’s created a dangerous bubble that is on the verge of popping. Currently, $124 billion of this debt is now over 90 days past due. But most kids don’t understand is they can’t even file bankruptcy on this debt later in life if they need to. Sure bankruptcy might be in their future, but this debt will follow them forever. So there is one thing for sure, they will have their education and its debt after filing bankruptcy so they don’t need to worry about losing that at least.
In this self absorbed generation, these folks will try and avoid filing bankruptcy at all costs because they’re afraid that they will lose all their property if they file. Truthfully, this is one of the things that should be filed under myths and legends of a bankruptcy filing. I believe the more corrupt creditors and debt collectors love to tell people stories about what will happen to them if they file bankruptcy. This might be one of these stories that are told, because they know if a person files, they will no longer be able to even contact that debtor. If they can make the debtor scared, they will continue with minimum payments on their debts until they could no longer afford it. Even though many of these people should not cling so tightly to their belongings, it is rare for a person to be wiped out in a bankruptcy filing. When Congress created bankruptcy they needed to come up with bankruptcy exemption laws that would allow an individual to keep a generous amount of property or else the person would not get the fresh start that bankruptcy promises.
Over the last few years many Americans have exercised their right to file bankruptcy because of what happened to the economy after the real estate bubble burst. People filing bankruptcy can be rest assured that they are not going to lose all their property when they file. This idea that the bankruptcy trustee wants to come over to the filer’s house with a big truck and take everything to the swap meet is completely false. In today’s economy, the trustee will weigh out the cost versus the reward when taking any un-exempt property. Once again, it’s a good idea to hire a bankruptcy attorney to prepare the bankruptcy petition because they will know the ins and outs of the code and be able to protect the maximum amount of property in the filing. There are two types of bankruptcy exemptions that an individual can select, first is the federal exemptions which are very generic, next is the state exemptions which most individuals choose. Even though bankruptcy is under the federal law, every state has its own bankruptcy exemptions and laws added to the code. The reason states have their own bankruptcy exemption laws is because sometimes property can be region specific. For example, there might be an exemption in Kansas to protect a tractor which would not apply to someone living in New York City. Overall, it’s still best to allow a bankruptcy attorney make the decision of which exemptions to use.