When people are in debt they face the possibility of the involuntary loss of assets through levy,garnishment, and other seizures of their property. When a bankruptcy case is filed, the first thing the court does is issue an order which stops all collection activity including the seizure of any assets. So bankruptcy is an extraordinarily effective way to stop creditors from taking the things that you own.
During the bankruptcy process, the court will determine what assets, if any, you must turn into the bankruptcy court to be used to pay your debts. In most cases, nothing is turned over to the bankruptcy court and you are able to keep everything that you own. There are a set of laws called “exemption statutes” which set forth what you are allowed to keep when you file bankruptcy. Your attorney will advise you whether or not any of your assets are not covered by these exemption laws. In many cases, it is possible to strategically protect your assets from creditors in the bankruptcy process by doing some planning before the case is filed.