I live in CT and am in process of filing bankruptcy (chapter 7
, I think, but possibly chapter 13) but haven't actually filed yet. My lawyer says the delay in filing is in determining if an anticipated restitution payment from the Holocaust Claims Conference in NYC for seized property is considered an exempt asset or not. I did not put in the claim (another family member did). I've not received any payment as yet, but was copied on a letter from the Claims Conference stating that the payment has been approved and will be made - I am not sure if it will be weeks or months before the payment is actually sent.
The restitution payment is not large (well under $30k), and I owe past-due property taxes and some student loans I'd like to pay with part of the restitution payment proceeds, but I don't want to have any leftover amount declared non-exempt and taken away by the trustee
My lawyer tells me that although a Claims Conference restitution payment for seized property may be exempt from the 'means test
' it might not be exempt from the bankruptcy trustee taking hold of said payout. My lawyer also says that there is no precedent in this situation - that nobody has ever declared bankruptcy while having a Claims Conference restitution payment for seized property as an asset.
My lawyer has said that I will have to pay for legal research to be done to determine if the restitution payment is an exempt asset or not, thus further delaying filing the bankruptcy. This matter has been dragging on since beginning of the year. Can you please help? Is there a precedent set in such matters that can be cited to eliminate further delay to the bankruptcy filing, and to show that the restitution payment is actually an exempt asset?
Thank you for your help.