Attorney at Law
Will I Lose my Jewelry in Bankruptcy?
Almost no one loses their jewelry in bankruptcy, for two reasons. First, most people filing bankruptcy do not have any valuable jewelry. Ohio law permits each person filing bankruptcy to keep up to $1,500 worth of jewelry, and in some cases I can increase that number to about $2,650. The other reason why people don’t lose jewelry in bankruptcy is that,
assuming they do own jewelry worth more than $1,500, usually they are still paying on that jewelry which reduces the percentage of the jewelry that actually belongs to them, rather than the jewelry financing company. If you want to keep the financed jewelry you will need to keep paying on it, but it will not get seized as part of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
I have seen a few cases, usually involving wedding rings, where the person filing bankruptcy has paid-off jewelry worth more than $1,500. In cases like these, it is important to get an appraisal of the jewelry to make sure that the jewelry is really worth what you paid for it. In some cases, it unfortunately turns out that even though you paid $10,000 for a wedding ring it is really only worth only half that on the open market. If it does turn out that you have more jewelry than you are permitted to keep in bankruptcy, it may be possible to work out a payment arrangement with the bankruptcy trustee to let you keep your jewelry. Once the payment plan is concluded your bankruptcy closes and the jewelry is yours to keep.