Can guns be kept in chapter 7 or will they be taken from us? 28 Answers as of June 04, 2013

We own two hand guns legally, one for my husband one for myself for self protection. Husband has 45 auto years but too difficult for me to handle. I am disabled so I can only manage a revolver and have that one.

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The Wooten Legal Consulting, PC | Antoinette M. Wooten
What is the value of these guns? Has your lawyer discussed trying to exempt these guns?
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/4/2013
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
It depends on the exemptions in the state where you live. In Arizona each person has a right to one gun. Please understand that bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/3/2013
Portland Bankruptcy Law Group
Portland Bankruptcy Law Group | Christopher J. Kane
You each are allowed to have a pistol and a rifle, and each are entitled to an exemption of $1,000 on the value of each of your guns.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/4/2013
Bruning & Associates, PC
Bruning & Associates, PC | Kevin Bruning
Guns are no different than any other asset in a Chapter 7. If the trustee believes she can monetize the asset for the benefit of your creditors, and if you do not assert an exemption to protect the property, the trustee will order you to turn the guns over for sale.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/4/2013
Tokarska Law Center
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
Whether a debtor can keep any particular item depends on whether the value of the item in question is covered by the exemptions they are entitled to use in their bankruptcy case. As long as the value is covered by an exemption, the debtor may keep the item. California has two sets of exemptions known as the 703s and the 704s, each one with its own categories of assets & limits. Debtor may use one or the other, but not both. Please note that if a debtor has moved into California from another state within 2 years prior to filing bankruptcy they are not eligible to use California exemptions. Under those circumstances, depending on where they moved from, the applicable exemptions could be different. 703s, if applicable to your circumstances, has a fairly generous wildcard exemption that covers most people's assets unless they own some other valuable items that either do not fall under other exemptions categories or exceed the limit of the particular category & eat up the entire available wildcard amount. So the answer to your question is that it depends on the value of your other assets.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/4/2013
    Law Office of Stuart A. McKenzie
    Law Office of Stuart A. McKenzie | Stuart McKenzie
    Retaining property requires an available exemption. Guns may be retained as long as there is sufficient room available under the exemption statute you are using. If you have a real property residence with substantial equity it is possible that you will lose the guns. However it is not uncommon for the Trustee to abandon non exempt assets where there is insufficient value for him to administer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    The answer to your question depends on the exemptions available to you when and where you file your bankruptcy. In Indiana, guns are just personal property like everything else.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/4/2013
    Michael B. McFarland, P.A. | Michael B. McFarland
    In Idaho, each individual is entitled to one firearm, not exceeding $750 in value, as exempt property (which you can keep in a bankruptcy) You should talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney for specifics and assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    In Idaho you can have an unlimited number of guns. However, you get two firearm exemptions at $750 each that can only be applied against one gun each. Therefore, if you have 4 guns, two are protected by firearm exemptions (as long as less than $750). The rest will have to be covered by your wildcard exemptions or you will have to pay their value to the Trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    The Law Offices of Deborah Ann Stencel | Deborah A. Stencel
    Legally owned guns, like most other personal property, generally can be exempted and retained in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A definitive answer depends on which exemption laws apply to you; in order to determine this, see an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Law Offices of David A. Tilem | Michael Avanesian
    You need to exempt them like any other property. I don't know about any special gun only exemptions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    As long as you can exempt them, yes you can keep them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    In Nevada, state law allows you to exempt one gun per family. You also each have a $1,000 wildcard exemption that could be applied to protect the value of the second gun. If you use up your wildcard exemption on other assets, you may pay the bankruptcy trustee for the value of the second gun. Exemption laws vary widely from state to state, so you should either retain the best bankruptcy attorney in your community or study the exemption laws in your state.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Weber & Phillips, P.A.
    Weber & Phillips, P.A. | John G. Phillips
    They can normally be exempted in a bankruptcy filing, but without knowing which State you are in, and therefore which list of exemptions apply, I can't tell you the specific statute that would apply in your State. Under Federal exemptions, you most commonly use 11 U.S.C. 522(d)(5).
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    McMahan Law Firm
    McMahan Law Firm | Van D. McMahan
    In Tennessee, if both you and your husband are filing, you get to keep up to $20,000.00 worth of personal property. This includes firearms.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs.
    Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs. | Michael O'Leary
    If you are able to claim the federal exemptions in New York, you should be able to exempt the guns. However, if you cannot exempt them, Trustees are usually quite reluctant to sell guns.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    The exemption laws, which are what tell you which property you can protect in bankruptcy, vary significantly from one state to another. You will have to check your own state's expat ion laws for the answer. Or, a better approach would be to retains an experienced bankruptcy attorney the peace of mind in knowing things are done well and your assets are protected to the greatest extent possible are almost always worth the cost of the attorney's fees.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    Depends on what state you're in. In Nevada, for example, you can exempt one firearm per person. In other states, Florida, for instance, you cannot exempt firearms. You have to declare them, and the garage sale value of the firearms. Realistically, no trustee wants to take possession of the firearms, I have never seen them being taken away to be sold in estate sales (in Southern Florida anyway). You should speak to your attorney and see what the trustees in your area do.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Law Office of Ben Echols | Ben Echols
    Yes, you can keep your guns. There is a provision in a chapter seven that allows you to keep firearms and sporting goods up to a certain level.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    You can use your exemptions to cover your guns and very few trustees will take them anyway as they usually have very little auction value.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    Depends on their value.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Stuart P Gelberg
    Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
    You don't have a right to keep them unless you can exemption them, for example with the wildcard. However guns require licenses to sell and I have never seen a trustee sell the guns you describe. With reasonable certainty you will be able to keep your guns
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    This depends on what the value is of the firearms and if an exemption can be used to keep them. I would venture a guess and say that it should be possible to keep them.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Jeffrey A. Cogan, Esq., Ltd.
    Jeffrey A. Cogan, Esq., Ltd. | Jeffrey A. Cogan
    No, the Chapter 7 Trustee will not want your guns.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C.
    Kenneth A. Parker, P.C. | Ken Parker
    The answer depends on the exemptions you have available but you will most likely be able to keep them.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    Under Sec. 42.002(7) of the Texas Property Code, two firearms are exempt for a single person or a family, assuming your total equity in the described personal property does not exceed the overall limits of $30,000 for a single person or $60,000 for a family. Under the federal exemption, which are also available to Texas bankruptcy filers, there is a "wild card" exemption provided by Sec. 522 that would likely also permit you to exempt the equity in two firearms, provided your total equity in personal property did not exceed the overall limits. Consult your bankruptcy attorney to make sure that the guns can be exempted in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Generally yes you can keep your guns. There is no specific exemption for them, but depending on how much equity you have in your home, there is a possible wildcard exemption of about $12,250, that would cover them.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You can usually keep guns. Your attorney can list them.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/31/2013
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