What happens to my property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Under Chapter 7, a person called a “trustee” is appointed to take charge of part of the debtor’s property that can be sold to pay creditors.  Under the law, only property that is not “exempt” can be taken and sold for this purpose.  For example, in North Carolina a debtor can claim up to $18,500 of the value of his house and $3,500 the value of the motor vehicle as “exempt”.  There are a number of other categories of property.  Once all non-exempt property has been collected and sold, the proceeds are distributed by the trustee to the creditors.  Any remaining debts are discharged, meaning they are no longer owed.