How do I know what property is exempt from my bankruptcy file? 26 Answers as of July 28, 2011

I am afraid of losing my assets once I file for bankruptcy. I heard that if the court finds your property exempt, you can keep it. How can I make sure that this will be true for my case? Do I need to file more paperwork to ensure my property is not taken from me?

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Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law
Mauritz Van Niekerk, Attorneys at Law | Christiaan van Niekerk
It's easy there are pre set limits for what you can keep and what not.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/24/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Every state has different property exemption amts, contact a local attorney to help with your filing
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/22/2011
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
Exemptions are claimed on Schedule "C" of your petition and yes you must claim them in order for them to be effective. Exemption laws are based on the state where you resided for the 2 years prior to filing your bankruptcy case or, if you lived in more than 1 state during that period, in the state where you resided for the greater part of the 180 days prior to that 2 year period. The way to know what assets will or won't be protected in your case is to (a) determine their value and (b) consult with a bankruptcy attorney in your area.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2011
Law Office of Harry L Styron
Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
When you list your property on the Petition, you list your claims of exemption. The exemption amouns are specified in California Code of Civil Procedure sections 704.010 through 704.730 or 703.140(b) (you can elect between the two sets of exemptions, depending on what is most advantageous. You can find these statutes at any county law library or at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov where you search "California Law" for the section numbers after you select "Code of Civil Procedure".
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
Exceptions and how to apply them is a complicated area and you should review this with an attorney to understand it and discuss your specific circumstances.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/21/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    You are right to be concerned. Exemptions are very important to protecting your assets. You should speak with a Bankruptcy Attorney to ensure you are protected before you file.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C.
    Law Office of J. Thomas Black, P.C. | J. Thomas Black
    Instead of trying to explain what property can be claimed as exempt, it's much simpler and quicker to simply go see an experienced consumer bankruptcy lawyer and review your situation with them in detail. A consultation with my office takes about an hour. We need that much information from you, to be able to begin to give you any meaningful advice, or be able to advise you what property of yours can be claimed as exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Abel L. Pierre
    Law Office of Abel L. Pierre | Abel L. Pierre, Esq.
    You must contact a bankruptcy attorney to answer this question. It really depends on which county you live in. For example, if you live within the five boroughs of New York City, or Rockland, Westchester, Putnam, Nassau, Suffolk Counties you can keep your home if you have up to $150K worth of equity in your home. Meaning if the value of your home exceeds what you owe on it by $150k or less you can file Chapter 7. If you are filing jointly with your spouse that amount is double. For the rest of the state the limit is $75k
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    That is why hiring a lawyer is good idea. I do not know what your assets are so I can't answer this question.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Raxter Law
    Raxter Law | Jeremiah Raxter
    The only way to know if certain assets are exempt to have an attorney that is experienced with the bankruptcy code assist you in preparing the petition.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Tucker Legal Clinic
    Tucker Legal Clinic | Samuel Tucker
    State exempt property laws apply to Miss. bankruptcies. There is an official form with which you designate your exempt property.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    Look at the California exemptions, found in the Code of Civil Procedure, Sections 703 and 704. Better yet, contact a bankruptcy attorney who knows this stuff in his sleep, so that you can sleep easier knowing you didn't make a colossal mistake doing it by yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    The only way you can make sure you are doing things right is to hire an experienced bankrutpcy attorney who will tell you what you can exempt and what you cannot exempt. You can then file with your eyes wide open and know what to expect. Don't take any chances because you cannot dismiss your Chapter 7 case without permission from the Court and the trustee will object if you have property that the trustee can take from you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Financial Relief Law Center
    Financial Relief Law Center | Mark Alonso
    You should research the CA state exemptions, which are available in Cal. Civ. Pro. 704 & 703. You can only choose from one set of exemptions and you should note that federal exemptions are not available in CA.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You need to either consult with an experienced attorney (my recommendation) or carefully read the state law that applies to your filing. The state statutes will outline the property that is exempt from your creditors.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    This is one reason I always recommend debtors retain counsel. Schedule B lists assets, Schedule C shows exemptions.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    You will be well advised to seek advice from a bankruptcy attorney. Trying to "go it alone" is the worst mistake people make in trying to save money when filing for bankruptcy relief and then actually losing property or more money than the attorney fee would have been.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    California exemptions apply to bankruptcy. There are two sets of exemption found in the Code of Civil Procedure. One set is found in Section 704 and the other set in Section 703. It is best to consult with a bankruptcy attorney before deciding whether the exemptions apply to your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    The best way to determine if your property is exempt is to consult with a certified specialist in bankruptcy law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Make sure you go with a qualified attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/28/2011
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    Look up CCP 703 and 704 Exemptions in CA.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Exemptions are set by law. The value of your assets are either exempt or they are not. The time to figure this out would be before you file. An attorney could have advised you whether you have an exemption issue PRIOR to filing. Once you file you probably won't be allowed to dismiss your case if you find out you are going to lose property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/21/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    This sounds like you are about to make the worst mistake of your life - filing pro se. Do NOT. It could be costly and you may lose property as a result. You need a lawyer. The court does NOT decide exemptions. Initially you file them. Since property valuation is critical to this, and since some things can be exempted in different ways (a lawyer will know how to most creatively use your homestead and miscellaneous exemptions, for example), doing this wrong could result in loss of things you should have kept. Get a lawyer. You cannot do this right pro se.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/21/2011
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