Start My Answer

Liquidate–What Does it Mean?

Dena Standley | October 19, 2022

Dena Standley
Legal Expert, Paralegal
Dena Standley, BA

Dena Standley is a seasoned paralegal with more than 20 years of experience in legal research and writing, having received a certification as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal from Southern Technical College.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Liquid gold

Summary: Liquidating involves selling your assets and property in exchange for cold, hard cash. Here is SoloSuit's guide liquidation, how it relates to debt, and the benefits of liquidating your assets.

Liquidation refers to selling property or assets on the open market to convert them into cash or cash equivalents. Similarly, liquidation means ending a company's operations and distributing its assets to creditors.

Liquidating assets can be either voluntarily or forcedly. The funds required for new investments or purchases come from voluntary liquidation. Forced liquidations might be necessary when an entity is forced to liquidate assets as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Liquidation can also mean selling inventory at a discount.

Land, buildings, properties, machinery, furniture, vehicles, equipment, tools, and inventory are all examples of assets. A company or an individual is liquidated when these assets don't earn sufficient returns to meet business expenses. Liquidators and insolvency practitioners handle the dissolution professionally.

Discover more on liquidation below.

What is liquidated vs. unliquidated debt?

Liquidated debt has a definite and known amount, while unliquidated debt includes unknown debt. The situation may arise when debt amounts are in dispute or contingent on an event, such as a court verdict. If a court order or agreement determines the final amount owed, unliquidated debt is liquidated.

Liquidated Debt vs. Unliquidated Debt



The debt amount is known

The debt amount is unknown

Both parties agree as far as the amount of the debt is concerned

Debt amount is disputed, or something has to happen in the furutre of the debt amount to be determined

What are the benefits of liquidating assets?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to liquidate your assets. Individuals who cannot make regular monthly payments to their debts can apply for it. Businesses that wish to cease operations can also file for Chapter 7. A debtor can get relief from Chapter 7 regardless of the number of debts owed or the debtor's status. The Chapter 7 trustee converts the debtor's assets into cash for distribution to creditors.

  • A significant benefit of liquidating assets is the ability to pay off debt. As the estate executor converts assets into cash, they can help the estate pay off any debts and cover any expenses. On a long-term basis, this helps minimize stress and promotes financial security.
  • Estate liquidation facilitates the administration of any remaining assets by the estate executor. After all taxes, debts, and further expenses are deducted, these remaining assets are sometimes referred to as "estate residue." By liquidating an estate, money is available to pay off the remaining assets.

How do non-liquid assets work?

Please note not all assets are readily convertible into cash before liquidating them. They are categorized as non-liquid or fixed assets. Conversion of these assets into money is complex, and they lose some of their value. Examples include:

  • Vehicles
  • Personal Belongings
  • Collectables
  • Real Estate
  • Art & Jewelry

How do liquid assets work?

Liquid assets refer to assets that can quickly be converted into cash or cash equivalents. Among the most common examples are:

  • Cash
  • Bank accounts—checking or savings accounts
  • Money market assets
  • Stocks & bonds
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Mutual funds
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Retirement investment accounts
  • Prepaid expenses (e.g., rent, insurance, and other bills paid ahead of time)

Liquidate credit cards into cash

If you intend to liquidate a credit card, consult a certified accountant and an attorney to determine if these methods violate local laws or your credit card terms. You might face challenges when converting credit to cash, depending on your choice.

Borrowing money from a 0% APR credit card, for example, requires payment before the interest-free period expires. The interest rate on a standard cash advance from a credit card is ridiculous, ranging from 20 to 30%! If you do a 0% APR balance transfer right away, you'll save money, so only the cash advance fee and the interest will be added to your loan costs. Credit cards should always come with a word of warning. Using credit cards to liquidate debt can create a problem larger than the one it solves. Please evaluate your situation carefully before turning a credit card into a liquidated asset.

Liquidating debt is not the same as paying off debt

Although debt can be costly, should you liquidate potentially profitable investments to eliminate it? You waste more money on interest charges the longer you keep in debt. Holding on to unhealthy debt can hurt your credit rating, which makes it more difficult for you to borrow in the future.

Before exploring liquidating investments or other assets, contact your lender about a balanced liquidation plan. A balance liquidation plan (BLP) is a payment plan designed for consumers who can no longer make their monthly payments. It benefits lenders because they often lose substantial money when a consumer is forced to default or file bankruptcy. If your bank is willing to implement a BLP, the account will appear as closed on your credit report instead of delinquent. This can protect your credit score, allowing you to borrow at reasonable interest rates in the future. Potential drawbacks to a BLP include that the bank gets to set the terms, including the interest rate. Banks are not mandated to offer to a BLP, so check with your lender to see if it is an option.

Having a lot of debt and not having the cash on hand to pay it off in a reasonable time frame may lead you to tap your investment portfolio, sell off investments, and use them to pay off your debt. The amount of debt compared to the interest you stand to save if you sell off investments will determine whether it is worthwhile to sell them to pay your debts.

For example, if you have a balance on a credit card with an interest rate of 18%. You might be better off liquidating an asset that generates a 6% return each year and, using it, pay down your debt since you'll be better off in the long run.

Is liquidating your best way out?

Several people operate their businesses by using a corporation to protect their assets if the corporation fails and to avoid personal liability for the company's debts. If you and the company can't pay the debt, then the company may be forced into liquidation. When you operate a business through a corporation, the corporation owns the company's assets and handles any debts that may accrue. Directors and shareholders are not personally responsible for the company's trading debts or other obligations.

If you owe any unpaid liabilities to the company, you may be required to give the bank or supplier a personal guarantee. You can be legally responsible for the payment if the company cannot pay. It is possible for the company and you to come under financial pressure if the business is not doing well.

If you are a director of a company that has trouble paying its debts when they are due, seek professional advice on liquidating debt. You might become liable for the company's debts even if you did not give a personal guarantee.

If you are being sued for a debt, the first step to winning in court is to respond with a written Answer. SoloSuit can help you respond to a debt lawsuit in 15 minutes. Check out this video to learn more:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James

Get Started

We have answers.
Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.

Ask a Question

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

>>Read the NPR story on SoloSuit. (We can help you in all 50 states.)

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.

Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.

Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court