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Personal property

You need to understand what personal property is. Here’s what to know.

What is personal property?

Personal property is essentially any property except for real estate. The main thing that differentiates personal property from real estate is that you can move personal property, which you cannot do with land or buildings, which are permanent fixtures.

Deeper definition

Personal property includes everything from jewelry to clothing to home furnishings, and nearly everything else you own, and it is also known as chattel and movable property.

For a business, personal property might include office machines and furniture such as computers, desks, company vehicles and other property and equipment used in the course of doing business.

There are three types of personal property: tangible, intangible and listed. Tangible personal property includes physical objects such as vehicles, furniture and household goods, while intangible personal property includes things like stocks and bonds, as well as intellectual property such as patents and copyrights.

Listed personal property is property that can be used for either business or personal purposes, such as a vehicle or computer that you use for work-related matters as well as personal matters.

One other thing that distinguishes personal property from real estate is that personal property involves riskier collateral. If you owe a creditor and don’t pay, the creditor can seize your home to get the money owed to him or her, but if the creditor tries to place a lien on personal property, it’s easier for you to take the property with you or dispose of it before he or she can claim it for payment of the debt.

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Personal property example

Everything you own, aside from real property, is considered personal property. This includes material goods such as all of your clothing, any jewelry, all of your household goods and furnishings, and anything else that is movable and not permanently attached to a fixed location such as your home.

Your bank accounts and any other financial assets such as investment accounts also count as personal property. When applying for a loan or credit, you can list your personal property as assets to increase your worth, because creditors often consider this when determining how likely a borrower will repay the debt.

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