Exemptions are protected assets that cannot be taken by the bankruptcy trustee or creditors. When you have decided to file for bankruptcy protection, you will want to talk to an experienced Plano bankruptcy attorney to ensure you get all the exemptions you are entitled to under the law.
Review Your Assets
You do not lose your assets in most bankruptcy cases. A lawyer will review what you have and determine what is protected under exemption laws. Exempt assets can include your car, equity in your home, furniture and tools you need to earn a living. If you have unprotected assets, your attorney can help you legally move them around, so they are protected. Some states have a “wildcard” exemption that allows you to keep property of your choice up to a specific dollar amount.
Filing Bankruptcy with your Spouse
You may be able to double your exemption amounts if you file bankruptcy with your spouse. Your federal exemptions will be doubled, and many, but not all states allow you to double them as well.
Exemptions Don’t Change
Whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, it doesn’t change the amount of property you can exempt. The difference is how the nonexempt property is treated.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy will discharge or eliminate your debts. Your nonexempt property will be sold by the trustee assigned to your case and distributed to your creditors.
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will get to keep all of your nonexempt property, while you make court approved payments. At the end of the three to five years of making payments, any unsecured debts remaining will be discharged. You must continue to make payments on your home and vehicles if you wish to keep them.
Everyone’s situation is different, and a Plano bankruptcy lawyer will have the experience and knowledge to get you the most exemptions and allow you to keep more of your assets during bankruptcy.