In a Chapter7 bankruptcy, you can receive a discharge of your debts. This means that creditors can no longer collect on any of these debts. As part of this process, when you file your bankruptcy case, a trustee is assigned. The role of the trustee is to gather all of the assets of the debtor and sell them to pay off the creditors. In most Chapter 7s, the debtors do not have any non-exempt assets. Exempt assets are items like basic clothes and other personal property necessary for everyday life.
A non-exempt asset may be luxury goods, like a very expensive diamond ring, an exotic sports car, a fancy shotgun or the like. The presumption is that in exchange for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, you surrender any valuable asset that will allow the trustee to repay some amount of your debt.
For most Chapter 7 bankruptcies, this is not an issue, as 90 percent of Chapter 7 filings are done as no-asset cases. And this makes sense, because if they had assets they could sell, one would presume they would sell them and pay off their debts.
The Casey Anthony bankruptcy is unusual for many reasons, and the most recent involves the bankruptcy trustee asking the judge in the case for permission to sell of the rights to her story.
The technical problem for the court is that the asset, her life story, has not been reduced to a book or movie. There is also the problem that the labor to create the asset would be post-petition, which is unusual. Normally assets used to satisfy debts would need to exist prior to the filing of the bankruptcy.
The judge’s ruling is due in 30 days.
Source: NBCnews.com, “Florida judge delays decision on selling rights to Casey Anthony’s life story,” Elizabeth Chuck, April 9, 2013