Each state has laws that determine which items of property you can keep in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and in what amounts. Essentially, these exempt items cannot be taken by your creditors or by the bankruptcy trustee even though you are going through bankruptcy.
The exemption laws for each state vary slightly, and the ones that apply to you will depend on how long you have lived in the state that you currently reside. Many states exempt personal effects (items like toothbrushes, hair dryers, razors, etc.), standard household furniture, clothing, and health aids without regard to their value.
Other items are exempt up to a limit. Furniture and automobiles are exempt up to a certain dollar amount. This limit means that any value in your property above the limit is not exempt from being taken by the bankruptcy trustee to pay off your creditors.
Here is a list of items that are usually exempt:
- Partial equity in automobiles.
- Necessary clothing (ex. no fur coats).
- Necessary household items.
- Jewelry, to a limit.
- Unpaid, but earned wages.
- Tools for your job.
- Public benefits.
- Partial equity in a residence.
- Life insurance.
- Personal effects.
If you have more questions regarding exemptions or any other area of bankruptcy, contact the Goldbach Law Group. We’ll consult with you for free and can offer discounts on your bankruptcy case. We’ve been doing this for over 24 years and will provide the insight and counsel you need to get through bankruptcy and receive a fresh start.