Bankruptcy courts vary as to the specificity required for the description of household furnishings. Most courts are satisfied with a brief description of the types of household goods rather than an itemized list of every item. For example, a debtor can list table settings for eight instead of itemizing each plate, saucer etc… Similar groupings can be used for bedroom and living room sets. Major items such as appliances and items with a high value should be listed separately. A list of items can also be attached separately as an appendix to the petition and incorporated by reference. When providing a description it is best to include the age and condition of the item especially if needed to explain a low value. Many items rapidly depreciate such as electronics and computers so age will be needed to explain to the trustee why you valued that 50″ television at $100.
Finally, after describing all items, it is important to remember to include the proper valuation. Items are to be listed at their current “market value” not original purchase price or replacement cost. The best gauge is what the item would be worth in a garage sale or on e-bay. Although items may be worth a lot to a debtor, the market value for most household items is low. It is important to give an honest value to each item, however, you do not want to overvalue some items leaving others without an exemption.