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Bankruptcy Representation

Property Exemptions

Property Exemptions-Bankruptcy Representation-The Law Offices of Barton P Levine

One of the major concerns voiced by people considering bankruptcy is “what assets will I be allowed to keep?” Therefore, before a bankruptcy case is filed, it is important to know which assets you will be able to keep.

 

Effective January 22, 2011, New York enacted sweeping changes to the exemptions that debtors will be able to claim in a bankruptcy case. As a result, it is expected that more people will decide for file for bankruptcy relief.

 

The recent changes continue to allow New York State residents to “opt out”, and to choose the federal exemptions instead. The decision to “opt out” and choose the federal exemptions, instead of the New York exemptions, is one that should be made with the help of an experienced attorney. 

 

New York Exemptions

 

1. Homestead Exemption 

 

A Debtor can now claim an exemption for up $150,000 of equity on his or her primary residence. This means that if a husband and wife file for bankruptcy relief, and jointly own a home, they can claim an exemption for up to $300,000.00 of equity on primary residence. 

 

2. Cash      

 

 A Debtor can now claim an exemption for cash, not to exceed $5,000, to the extent that the debtor does not claim the entire $10,000 exemption which is now allowed for household goods or wearing apparel.

 

3. Household Goods & Wearing Apparel 

 

A Debtor can now claim an exemption for household goods and wearing apparel, not to exceed $10,000 in value. 

 

4.Jewelry & Art 

 

A Debtor can now claim an exemption for a wedding ring, a watch, jewelry and art, not to exceed $1,000 in value.

 

5. Automobiles

 

A Debtor can now claim an exemption for up to $4,000 of equity per vehicle.

 

6. Tools of the Trade 

 

A Debtor can now claim an exemption for necessary working tools and implements applicable to a trade or to a profession, not to exceed $3,000 in value.

 

7. Additional Exemption for Debtors Not Claiming a Homestead Exemption  

 

 A Debtor, who does not claim a homestead exemption, can now claim an additional exemption for cash, a bank account or personal property, not to exceed $1,000 in value. As a result, a Debtor may be able to exempt up to $6,000 in cash, a bank account or possible tax refund.

 

Personal Injury Proceeds          

 

A Debtor can claim an exemption for the proceeds of a personal injury claim, not to exceed $7,500.

 

Pension and Retirement Benefits          

 

A Debtor can claim an exemption for qualified pensions and retirement benefits. 

 

Governmental Benefits

 

A Debtor can claim all social security benefits, unemployment compensation, veteran’s benefits, disability, illness or unemployment benefits. 

 

Federal Exemptions

 

Some of the Federal Exemptions include: 

 

1.   Homestead Exemption 

 

An individual Debtor can claim an exemption for up $20,200 of equity on his or her primary residence.

 

2.Household Goods & Furnishings, & Wearing Apparel 

 

 A Debtor can claim an exemption in household goods, wearing apparel and household furnishings, not to exceed $10,779 in value.

 

3.   Pension and Retirement Benefits   

 

A Debtor can claim an exemption for qualified pensions and retirement benefits. 

 

4.  Personal Injury Proceeds 

 

 A Debtor can claim an exemption for the proceeds of a personal injury claim, not to exceed $20,200.

 

5.   Governmental Benefits 

 

A Debtor can claim all social security benefits, unemployment compensation, veteran’s benefits, disability, illness or unemployment benefits. 

 

6.   “Wild Card” Exemption 

 

(a) A Debtor may use up to $1,075 on any property, plus up to $10,825 of any unused amount of the homestead exemption. 

 

(b) Therefore, if your home has nominal equity or you do not own a home, you can use a total of $11,900 as a “wild card” exemption on any property. 

 

Please note that this list is not exclusive, and that all property exemptions are subject to exceptions. To learn more about the various bankruptcy exemptions, please call us toll free at (800) 363-3416, or contact us online. 

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