What is an Asset in Bankruptcy?

If you have been following the Casey Anthony bankruptcy, the latest report is that her Chapter 7 trustee wants to sell her book rights. This brings up interesting questions: What is an asset, and is it worth anything?

In a previous post, I discussed that an asset is just about anything that can be converted into money for the benefit of creditors. A book that is already written would be an asset for bankruptcy purposes. However, unless you are a well-known author or already have an advance, it may not be worth enough for a bankruptcy trustee to pursue.

Since Ms. Anthony is a “celebrity,” a potential book written by her about the death of her child would likely have some people interested in buying it. There is at least one potential bidder in her bankruptcy willing to pay $10,000 for the rights to her book so he can prevent her from publishing or profiting from it in the future.

Which brings up more questions: Would such an agreement be binding? Would it run afoul of Ms. Anthony’s First Amendment rights? Could a buyer prevent her from publishing her story for free?

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