Ever wonder how a bankruptcy debtor calculates the value of their home? You need to be as accurate as possible when your attorney asks you to estimate your home’s value. In fact, often times an attorney will recommend their clients contact a local real estate appraiser to perform an appraisal on the home to accurately assess its current fair market value.
A home appraisal provides you with an accurate assessment of your home’s fair market value. Significant discrepancies in the value of your home can create potential problems in bankruptcy. If the value is listed too low the client runs the risk of a trustee objecting to their scheduled valuation and potentially asking the court for permission to seize your home.
In addition, an obvious ‘low ball’ value will call your honestly, truthfulness and credibility into question in future proceedings with the Bankruptcy judge, trustee, and opposing counsel. If a value is listed too high, a client may miss out on the availability of a Chapter 7 and/or end of paying back more than necessary in a Chapter 13.
Real estate appraisers therefore perform an integral function in the bankruptcy process. Appraisers usually estimate asset collateral values of secured creditors and debtor-in-possession (DIP) financings; help to identify and value sale/leasebacks, spin-offs, licensing and other re-organization opportunities; and are often involved in structuring and valuing restructured debt and equity instruments as well as assessing and opinionating on the fairness of proposed re-organization plans.
For these reasons, bankruptcy professionals quite often need to hire, work with and rely on experienced real estate appraisers. Our team of certified and experienced appraisers understands the complexities involved in assessing the value of a property under these difficult circumstances and work hard to provide you with the best possible experience.