Tips for Selling Items when You’re Thinking About Bankruptcy

Many of our clients have gone through times where money is tight and a little extra can make a big difference. An easy way to get a little extra cash is to sell items that you don’t use any more. However, selling items right before filing bankruptcy can sometimes cause problems for your case. If you’re considering filing bankruptcy, follow these guidelines to ensure that the items you sell don’t make your case more difficult.

  1. Don’t sell an item that you still owe money on. If you still owe money on an item, you must get the permission of the party to whom the money is owed before selling it. Otherwise, the bankruptcy trustee may require the sale to be reversed so the money from the sale can go to creditors. If you don’t want to continue paying for the item, another option is to return it instead of trying to sell it.
  2. Keep good records. This is especially important for valuable items, such as vehicles or electronics. Write down what you sold, who you sold it to, and how much it was sold for. Keep the money separate from the money you earn at your regular job, and when you spend it, write down what you bought. You should not gamble, repay relatives, or buy luxury items right before filing bankruptcy. Having records of how you spend your extra money will be important for your bankruptcy case.
  3. Consider selling nearly everything. Many people have too much stuff crammed into too little space. Sell the items that are cluttering up your home. Go through each room in your house and make a list of the items that you rarely use or don’t like anymore. Don’t forget to check the garage and the attic. Everything you put on your list can be sold. In addition to earning extra money, you’ll be freeing yourself from all that clutter.
  4. Post your items online. Craigslist a good place to post things, and it’s free to use. Before you post your items, search the other listings for ideas of how much to charge or how to describe your items. You can also try listing items for sale on eBay. eBay doesn’t charge to list items, but they do take a percentage of the price of each item sold.
  5. Have a yard sale. Yard sales are an easy way to sell the smaller items that you can’t post online. You can also pool items with your neighbors to have an even bigger yard sale. If you have a joint yard sale, be sure to work out a system for determining whose items are sold to avoid any conflicts about the profits from the sale.

Selling items you don’t need or want any more is an excellent way to clean up your home and earn money at the same time. When you’re going through financial difficulties, that extra money can make a big difference. Follow these guidelines and you’ll ensure that if you need to file bankruptcy, the items you’ve sold won’t cause any problems for your case.  Call our Syracuse bankruptcy law office if you have questions.


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