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What is a bankruptcy "estate"?

A bankruptcy “estate” is defined in Title 11 of the United States Code § 541. It is a very broad definition and includes all legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property, wherever located, as of the commencement of the case. It also includes any property in which the debtor has an ownership interest that is recovered by the trustee if it was merely out of the possession of the debtor. In certain circumstances, property acquired by the debtor within 180 days after the filing of the case may also be considered part of the bankruptcy “estate”.

An attorney should be consulted if there is any question as to whether specific property will be included in the bankruptcy “estate” and the exemptions available to the debtor which may exclude certain property.

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