What are exemptions on bankruptcy? 12 Answers as of June 07, 2012

What are exemptions on bankruptcy? How I maximize on these?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
See 11 U.S.C. 522, lists the equity in real estate and personal property one can keep in Chapter 7.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/7/2012
Rosenberg & Press
Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
First you must go to college and get a bachelors degree. Then you must get accepted into a law school. Then you must complete your law school education. Then you should study the bankruptcy code and the rules and procedures for your local court. Finally once you are an attorney you can decide how best to apply exemptions to your bankruptcy. If this is too much for you hire an experienced attorney.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/5/2012
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
Great question - but driven by the state where you live. 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. Most Arizona bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation about the basics of bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/1/2012
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Exempt property is what you get to keep. I can't help you maximize them because I don't know what you own. See a competent lawyer to get the best results.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/1/2012
Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
California has 2 sets of exemptions, generally one for folks with a home with equity and one for folks without. You choose the list based on which of those you are. Both lists have an exemption for a car, but equity is limited; it is $3500 in one and $2550 in the other. Both lists allow an exemption for essentially all of your household goods and essentially all of your retirement accounts. There is an allowance for jewelry on each list. Clothing is a household good. There is an exemption for the cash value of life insurance, up to a certain amount on each list. The big difference is that the non-homeowner list has a miscellaneous property exemption of $23,250. For most folks that is big enough to drive in all the extra cars, farm equipment, live chickens, horses and goats, vehicles worth more than the car limit, cash savings, time shares, you name it. If you find that you have property that is not exempt, you can sell the property and buy things that are exempt. Needed household goods, especially consumables that you will buy anyway and retirement accounts are especially good places to put the cash for non-exempt property. What you absolutely cannot do is give away your property in anticipation of bankruptcy filing, whether or not you will get it back later or "sell" it for pennies on the dollar to someone who will be "selling" it back to you later.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/31/2012
    The Smalley Law Firm, LLC | Cary Smalley
    Exemptions is your property that is exempt from the bankruptcy estate, meaning that you can keep it. I suggest you consult with a bankruptcy attorney who can ensure that all available exemptions are properly made.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Compass Legal Group | Kelly Stairs
    The exemptions you will claim depend on your particular situation. You will want to consult with your bankruptcy attorney regarding protecting all your assets.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    The bankruptcy exemptions for Texas are below. You can maximize your exemptions by applying the correct ones. The state personal property exemption cap: The Texas debtor is allowed a certain portion of personal property exempt from garnishment, attachment, etc. The aggregate amount which is allowed the debtor is determined based upon the debtor's status. *Single adult*: A single adult, who is not a member of a family is entitled to property he or she owns that has a fair market value (exclusive of liens) of up to $30,000. Tex.Prop. Code 42.001(a)(2). *Family*: A family is entitled to property with a fair market value (exclusive of liens) of up to $60,000. Tex.Prop. Code 42.001(a)(1). *Property subject to state exemption cap*: With the exception of jewelry and unpaid commissions for personal services which are each limited to 25% of the cap, the debtor may allocate his exemption cap among any one or more of the 13 categories listed below.*Home furnishings*: Home furnishings, including family heirlooms can be claimed as exempt property. Tex.Prop. Code 42.002(a)(1). The term "home furnishings" is not defined in the Texas Property Code. The words "household" and "furnishings" are given their ordinary meaning. They do not include items such as portable telephones and hand-held recorders. [image: bullet] *Food*: Provisions for consumption can be claimed as exempt property. [image: bullet] *Farm/ranch vehicles and implements*: Farming and ranching vehicles and implements can be claimed as exempt property. *Tools of trade*: Tools, equipment, books and apparatus, including boats and motor vehicles used in a trade or profession can be claimed as exempt property. Tex.Prop. Code 42.002(a)(4). What constitutes "tools of trade": Items are tools of the trade in Texas if they are "fairly belonging to or usable in the trade." Only items that are "peculiarly adapted to" the debtor's trade or profession are exempt as tools of the trade under the Texas exemption statutes. *Wearing apparel*: Wearing apparel (other than jewelry which is dealt with separately) can be claimed as exempt property. Tex.Prop. Code 42.002(a)(5). *Jewelry*: Jewelry is exempt to the extent its value does not exceed 25% of the exemption limit. Tex.Prop. Code 42.002(a) (6). *Weapons*: Two firearms can be claimed as exempt property. Tex.Prop. Code 42.002(a)(7). *Athletic/sporting equipment*: Athletic and sporting equipment, including bicycles can be claimed as exempt property. Tex.Prop. Code ? 42.002(a)(8). Athletic and sporting equipment consists only of small items for individual use and does not include jet skis, sailboats, or power boats. In re Crockett, 158 F.3d 332 (5th Cir.1998)(jet skis); In re Gibson, 69 B.R. 534, 535 (Bankr.N.D.Tex.1987) (power boats); In re Griffin, 139 B.R. 415, 417 (Bankr.W.D.Tex.1992) (sailboats). *Motor vehicles*: A two-wheeled, three-wheeled, or four-wheeled motor vehicle for each member of a family or single adult who holds a driver's license or who does not hold a driver's license but who relies on another person to operate the vehicle for the benefit of the nonlicensed person can be claimed as exempt property. Tex.Prop. Code ? 42.002(a)(9). *Farm animals*: The following animals and forage on hand for their consumption can be claimed as exempt property: two horses, mules, or donkeys and a saddle, blanket, and bridle for each; 12 head of cattle; 60 head of other types of livestock; and 120 fowl. Tex.Prop. Code 42.002(a)(10). *Pets*: Household pets can be claimed as exempt property. Tex.Prop. Code 42.002(a)(11). *Life insurance*: The present value of life insurance policies are exempt if a family member or dependent of the insured judgment debtor is the beneficiary. Tex.Prop. Code ? 42.002(a)(12); but see Tex.Ins. Code art. 21.22, which indicates that exemption is unlimited (11:45).: As a practical matter, the cash surrender or loan value of a whole-life insurance policy is its present value and there will be no present value to a term policy. (See 11:45 et seq.) *Unpaid commissions for personal services*: Unpaid commissions for personal services not to exceed 25% of the aggregate limitation may be claimed as exempt from seizure. Tex.Prop. Code 42.001(d). *State exemptions not subject to cap*: Certain exemptions are not subject to any valuation limitation. *Current wages*: Current wages for personal services are wholly exempt, except for the enforcement of court-ordered child support payments. Tex.Prop. Code 42.001(b); See In re Cooley, 87 B.R. 432, 438 (Bankr.S.D.Tex.1988) Bankruptcy Code also excludes wages from Chapter 11 plan. *Limited protection*: This exemption prohibits the issuance of a writ of garnishment against the debtor's employer. Additionally, a court cannot order turnover of paychecks, retirement checks and other similar types of assets. However, once the wages are turned over to the debtor and converted into cash they are subject to execution and a turnover order. Tex.Civ.Prac. & Rem. Code 31.002(f)a turnover order cannot be obtained before the wages are turned over to the debtor; Brink v. Ayre, 855 S.W.2d 44, 45 (Tex.App.Houston [14th Dist.] 1993, no writ); Burns v. Miller, Hiersche, Martens & Hayward, P.C., 948 S.W.2d 317 (Tex.App. Dallas 1997, writ denied).: If the wages are deposited into a bank account they are subject to garnishment. American Exp. Travel Related Services v. Harris, 831 S.W.2d 531, 533 (Tex.App.Houston [14th Dist.] 1992). *Self-employed debtors*: The current wages exemption does not apply to the earnings of self-employed debtors who are viewed as independent contractors. Tex.Prop. Code 42.001(d); In re Martin, 117 B.R. 243, 246 (Bankr.N.D.Tex.1990). The self-employed debtor must rely upon the exemption for unpaid commissions for personal services which is included in the property subject to the exemption cap and cannot exceed 25% of the cap. EXAMPLES: Texas courts have found independent contractors to include: . attorneys in private practice; Hennigan v. Hennigan, 666 S.W.2d 322, 324-25 (Tex.App.Houston [14th Dist.] 1984, writ refused n.r.e.), 677 S.W.2d 495 (Tex.1984); . a district agent for an insurance company; In re Perciavalle, 92 B.R. 688, 691 (Bankr.W.D.Tex.1988), and a trucker who furnished his own transportation, equipment, etc. Brasher v. Carnation Co. of Texas, 92 S.W.2d 573, 575 (Tex.Civ.App. Austin 1936, writ dismissed). *Health aids*: Health aids that are professionally prescribed for the judgment debtor (or the debtor's spouse or dependent) are exempt regardless of value. Tex.Prop. Code 42.001(b)(2).: This exemption arguably includes, e.g. a wheelchair for a person unable to walk, an air conditioner for an asthmatic or an elevator for a person unable to climb stairs. However, it probably does not exempt swimming pools, saunas, bicycles, golf clubs, or gymnastic equipment merely because their use is necessary to sustain good health. *Insurance benefits*: There is an unlimited exemption of insurance benefits to the debtor who is the designated beneficiary of an insurance policy. Tex.Ins. Code art. 21.22; In re Young, 166 B.R. 854, 857 (Bankr.E.D.Tex.1994) (life insurance proceeds remain exempt cash).: "Insurance benefits" includes "all money or benefits of any kind, including policy proceeds and cash values, to be paid or rendered to the insured or any beneficiary under any policy of insurance issued by a life, health or accident insurance company, including mutual and fraternal insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Exemptions in bankruptcy allow you to protect assets. These are set my state or federal law. You just need to know which ones you need to use.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    The homestead is an exemption, $1000 of personal property, retirement accounts, $1000 in a single motor vehicle. These are the main ones that most people would claim. Also, if there is no homestead, up to $4000 in personal property can be claimed as exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    There are a number of exemptions for certain assets available in bankruptcy. Each case must be examined individually in order to determine which apply, or which to apply. I would suggest that you see a bankruptcy attorney prior to making any determination as to the wisdom of your filing a case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/30/2012
    Neuhaus Law Office
    Neuhaus Law Office | Gregory M. Neuhaus
    The exemptions vary from one State to another. In Nebraska they range from a $60,000 Homestead exemption to personal property exemptions. You will need to speak to an attorney in your area to determine how they apply to you.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/30/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney