When determining the value of property for your bankruptcy, the amount you’re trying to find out is how much you could sell the property for in its current condition.
Put differently, the item’s “true” value will depend on how much a stranger is willing to pay for it.
Some things are easier to value than others. Your best bet is to find out what resources exist by doing an internet search. Something along the lines of “what is my XXX worth?”
Depending on the item, results will likely fall into 2 categories:
- information about resources / ways to determine the item’s value
- information about the current sale price for it
If it isn’t something that is frequently sold or purchased as a used item, your initial search results may not be very promising. In that case, you’ll want to head over to e-Bay, Craigslist or similar second hand marketplaces (including printed ads, if there are any). Look for similar items for sale. Compare the condition of those items with yours and make an educated guess from there.
Example - Valuing a Horse Trailer
Searching “how much is horse trailer worth” will bring you to both - sites that specialize in valuing horse trailers and blog posts and other content talking about the best way to go about valuing a horse trailer. Reading one of the articles, you’ll learn that there appear to be 4 ways to do this:
- Compare print and online ads for used trailers like yours
- Ask a dealer for horse trailers
- Check the Horse Trailer Blue Book
- Check the information on NADA
If the bankruptcy trustee thinks it’s worth more than what you indicated, they may have a professional appraiser or auctioneer take a look at it. If you’re not right to the penny, that’s ok; this is a moving target. But if you value a $4,000 antique clock at $40, you may run into more issues than just having to sell the clock. So, do your best; it’s all you can do.