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A-Rod's cousin faces bankruptcy controversy for selling ring

The laws of bankruptcy apply to all Americans, even the cousin of a well-known baseball star. For Alex Rodriguez's cousin -- who recently filed for bankruptcy -- this may come as unsettling news.

Rodriguez's cousin filed for personal bankruptcy back in 2011. The trustee of his bankruptcy estate believes that a replica of Alex Rodriguez's 2009 World Series ring should be included in the estate. Rodriguez's cousin sold the ring for $10,000 last December, and the purchaser then consigned it to an auction company. The bidding had reached $33,000 when the trustee filed paperwork stating that any money from the sale of the ring should be property of the bankruptcy estate. If Rodriguez's cousin had gained possession of the ring after bankruptcy was filed, however, it would likely no longer be considered a possession of the bankruptcy estate and the sale would be perfectly acceptable.

When an individual is filing for bankruptcy, it is always important to include all personal possessions in the bankruptcy schedules. Anything not included and properly exempted is not protected and can be sold. For most people, there are no such issues, as the exemptions allow for very large items, such as cars, jewelry and even houses to be protected. However, if any items are not properly listed and protected, if they are sold, then that money becomes part of the bankruptcy estate. That is why anyone filing for bankruptcy must tell an attorney about all significant property.

Filing for individual bankruptcy can often eliminate debt and give a person a fresh start. The best way to ensure that the process is as a stress-free as possible, however, is to tell the attorney as much information as possible.

Source: NY Daily News, "Bankruptcy court trustee claims dibs on Yankees 2009 World Series ring sold by Alex Rodriguez's cousin Yuri Sucart," Michael O'Keefee, March 20, 2013

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