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china that doesn't belong to me long term in my house for now... at risk?

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  • china that doesn't belong to me long term in my house for now... at risk?

    I'm hoping to file chapter 7. We live in New Hampshire.

    We have not engaged an attorney or filed yet, and probably won't until March at the earliest (the 6 month mark from when my salary disappeared and was replaced by unemployment compensation).

    I'm inclined to hold a yard sale now and use that money to augment Unemployment and hubby's salary and pay regular household expenses and maybe another mortgage payment to stave off that nightmare a little longer. We think we will have to surrender the house, too, but are not ready to face that quite yet. All of this is unless a miracle comes along and I get hired for the salary that I had more than a year ago, before my recent paycut which was followed this year by layoff.

    There's a set of china that has been passed down in my husband's family to the first girl in each generation. My husband's sister passed on and my mother in law asked if I would hold and use it until her daughter was of age and starting a household. She didn't want it to entirely skip a generation, so I've been honored to stand in as a daughter and use the china at holidays. I've even bought a few replacement pieces to fill out the place settings (on ebay). My niece is now of age, but last I knew was still living at home with my mother in law. We haven't told that side of the family that I lost my job, yet, because there really isn't anything they can do to help and we don't want to cause anyone any ulcers. I feel like I need to get this set of china out of my house now so the family won't lose it. It's been sitting here, but it's never belonged to me, really. The set is a pattern of American Limoge (not the uber-expensive antique French Limoges) that was offered at a movie theatre in their city and could be bought one piece at a time every time you went to the movies in the 30s and 40s. The entire family participated in collecting it, back in the day. I would so hate to be the cause of it being lost to the family.

    My question about that is - if I send it back to my MIL now, will it be an issue for the trustee? Do I need to disclose it?
    Figured out we were in trouble: (Wait, we're in trouble? ) Stopped paying creditors: Aug 2010 Filed Chap 7: Apr 29, 2011 341: Jun 1, 2011 Report of no distribution: Jun 1, 2011 Discharged Aug 2, 2011

  • #2
    If it wasn't willed to you, you can just give it back. It sounds like you do not have ownership. I think it would be okay.

    I am not an attorney and do not know the law, but it doesn't sound like you have a problem.

    And just so you know, the trustee does not come to your house and go through your things.

    Hope this helps.
    Filed Chapter 7 October 5, 2010 -341 held Nov. 8, 2010- Report of No Distribution Nov. 12th, 2010- Discharged 1-10-2011 Closed 1-28-2011


    • #3
      It was not passed by bequest in a will. It never is. It gets given by the living party who has it, passing it to the daughter usually around her wedding, I believe. My sister in law was never married to the men she had children with, and she died before she ever established a home, which is part of why my niece has always lived with her grandmother. (My sister in law also didn't want the china anyway because she wasn't into historical things.)

      I guess the time is coming soon to tell the family. We just don't want to spoil the holidays over it. Years we have Christmas with my mother the in-laws come up for a few days between Christmas and New Years (so MIL can spend time with her mother, too). I can't remember if this is a T-day with MIL or a Christmas with MIL year. I hope Christmas is here, for one last time in my own house before we have to lose it in this mess.

      I'm still kind of not ready to give it up, but the writing is so on the wall it's not funny. It's time to stop being emotional about this house, but... I'm not quite ready. I've put so much of myself into it. And for what? I will never let myself feel this way about anything again. I've never been BK before, but in my first marriage I had a nightmare house that was structurally unsound that we ended up walking away from. Flaming out on home ownership twice in a row... not going through this again, if we can't keep this one.
      Figured out we were in trouble: (Wait, we're in trouble? ) Stopped paying creditors: Aug 2010 Filed Chap 7: Apr 29, 2011 341: Jun 1, 2011 Report of no distribution: Jun 1, 2011 Discharged Aug 2, 2011


      • #4
        I know how it is to feel hopeless and down on yourself. The further you get in the process, the better you will feel. I haven't even filed yet, and between this forum and my attorney I am starting to feel like there is hope again. From someone who a week ago was not sleeping or eating much over all this mess, take it from me. It gets better and I know it will get better the closer the finish line comes. I am still paranoid that I will forget a crucial part of my case or a bill or transfer or something, but it all works out.

        Draw strength from people here. It is valuable and will keep you sane

        Anything I can do to help just let me know
        Filed Chapter 7 October 5, 2010 -341 held Nov. 8, 2010- Report of No Distribution Nov. 12th, 2010- Discharged 1-10-2011 Closed 1-28-2011


        • #5
          There is an area on the petition where you can claim property held for others. Since the china belongs to your Niece, just list it on the paperwork and you should be fine.


          • #6
            We have an old motorcycle at our house that belongs to my father-in-law. It has a value of about $800. We listed it in property held for others and the trustee did ask about it and wanted a title or something to show it wasn't ours. If it didn't have a title a letter from my father-in-law would have been fine. We gave her both but weren't originally telling the in-laws about the bk and ended up having to.
            Filed: 6/23/10 341: 7/22/10 discharged: 9/21/10


            • #7
              Originally posted by SunshineGal View Post
              There is an area on the petition where you can claim property held for others. Since the china belongs to your Niece, just list it on the paperwork and you should be fine.
              What petition, what area is where you can list what belongs to others. I was in a consulation with one atty and told her that my outdoor sheds have tools, (nothing of great value like compressors, or other larger more valuable tools, just everyday small items) and that if they did an audit (which they won't on me) that I need to say that some of this junk belongs to my friend that is storing it here.

              She said I could get him to write a note about it. She didn't say anything about it having to be written on a petition like you mentioned. (Or, if I'd hired her in the future, maybe she would've instructed me then at that time?)


              • #8
                On the "Statement of Financial Affairs" question #14 asks for all property you hold or control for others. You list the description, value, and who they belong to.


                • #9
                  If it was me, I'd take the china to a trusted friend's house and leave it there for the time being. I wouldn't even mention it. I've got a few items that I'm not mentioning.


                  • #10
                    I might just send it back to the family it belongs to. They are amongst the few that know what's going on here anyway.

                    I came on here to update our situation. We have engaged and attorney. The phone calls are being redirected to his office. That's already a bit of a relief. I am waiting on tenterhooks to see if we get a sheriff's sale notification or a loan modification application response first.

                    For now, I'm documenting all the debts and assets for the attorney. We have not determined if we are chap 7 or 13, depends on what the loan servicer does with our mortgage modification application.

                    Nervous doesn't begin to cover it.
                    Figured out we were in trouble: (Wait, we're in trouble? ) Stopped paying creditors: Aug 2010 Filed Chap 7: Apr 29, 2011 341: Jun 1, 2011 Report of no distribution: Jun 1, 2011 Discharged Aug 2, 2011


                    • #11
                      It never occurred to me to list my china at anything more than I could receive for it at a yard sale last time. I know nothing about it I think maybe I listed it at 200 bucks. Maybe that was a faux pas lol.


                      • #12
                        I listed some expensive machinery that I have in my garage that belongs to my father. He sold his house and is building another one so I was keeping it in my garage
                        for him. No questions were asked, I just put it on my statement of financial affairs in the proper place. I think if anything this makes you look thorough.


                        • #13
                          Just curious, why list china? or a tool box, or a lawnmower (oops, I'm currently in the process of filing and actually didn't think about the lawnmower)?

                          Will someone physically come to your house and take a look around? I know you want to be truthfull but a set of dishes?? Really?



                          • #14
                            Because the china is semi-antique/collectible. I'm talking about something with a value of around $400 to $600 for the set. Added to all the other things we actually do own, it or the computer belonging to the church or the computers belonging to my husband's employer could make our belongings go over our exemptions, if someone go the mistaken idea they belong to us. Particularly since we need to protect some jewelry that belongs to my husband that does have both sentimental and actual value (a ring with a diamond left him by his grandfather). We also have a motorcycle that we can't protect with a vehicle exemption because it's our 3rd vehicle, and both cars are at least slightly over the value we can protect with vehicle exemptions so we are quickly eating up wildcard values.

                            Will someone come to the house? Probably not, in my state. But that shouldn't matter. If you have been truthful, then if the procedures changed right after we filed, I would not be sweating out "what if they come and see everything that's not ours and decide to get their fine tooth comb out?"
                            Figured out we were in trouble: (Wait, we're in trouble? ) Stopped paying creditors: Aug 2010 Filed Chap 7: Apr 29, 2011 341: Jun 1, 2011 Report of no distribution: Jun 1, 2011 Discharged Aug 2, 2011


                            • #15
                              What china?


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