Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy litigation attorney here to assist you.
What kind of asset does the creditor have if it is unsecured?
creditor holds personal assets such as antique oriental art valued at about $30,000
This is not likely criminal, but rather a civil issue to be addressed by the bankruptcy court.
If the debt you owe the unsecured creditor was discharged, you don't owe the creditor, and if the property held is not collateral given to secure the debt, the bankruptcy trustee would have a right to recover the asset and liquidate to provide money to pay creditors - including this unsecured creditor - on a pro rata basis.
Thus, you can inform the bankruptcy trustee of this asset and all him/her to go after it to generate money to pay your creditors, but it will not likely result in a return of the property to you.
I don't see this as being criminal because it is a creditor/former creditor, it could claim that possession of this property is its security for the loan or come up with some other excuse as to why it is entitled to the property.
You can certainly contact the authorities and ask to press charges for theft or conversion, but I think they will tell you it is a civil matter.
If the property was not listed as an asset in your schedules, the court likely has no idea that this property is out there. That's why it is important to inform the trustee and allow him/her to recover the asset for the benefit of the estate.
I agree that it is likely illegal for this creditor to keep the property as it belongs to the bankruptcy estate - but I don't see it as criminal mainly because the bankruptcy court can order that the asset be recovered from this creditor.
Thanks Kirk and enjoy the holidays,
I hope you have a great Christmas holiday yourself!