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New Jersey Federal Exemptions Attorneys

Can I Keep My Property After Filing for Bankruptcy?

Among the many common myths associated with bankruptcy is that when you file, you will be unable to keep any personal property, such as cars, investments and other property. This misconception is enough for many people to avoid seeking help. However, it is important to understand the truth behind the myth and know all of your rights and options before making any decisions.

At the Law Office of Andrew B. Finberg, LLC, we help people obtain debt relief and move into a life after debt, and we do this in a manner that allows you to maximize the property you are allowed to keep. If you have questions about the bankruptcy process or would like to discuss your concerns with a skilled Marlton federal exemptions lawyer, contact the Law Office of Andrew B. Finberg, LLC

Maximizing Asset Protection Using State or Federal Exemptions

When you file for bankruptcy, either under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, all property essentially becomes owned by the bankruptcy estate until final discharge orders are made. However, state and federal exemption rules govern what assets can be claimed as exempt, and the limits for such exemptions. In New Jersey, debtors have the option of electing to use the state-specific exemptions or the federal exemptions — whichever are more favorable to their unique situation. While for most clients, the federal exemptions favor their situation, at the Law Office of Andrew B. Finberg, LLC, we help clients evaluate the best option based upon the unique consequences of their case.

Some of the most critical federal bankruptcy exemptions* include:

  • Homestead: Equity in your primary residence is protected up to $20,200; Unused portion of this exemption can be applied to personal property up to $10,125
  • Retirement accounts: Most retirement accounts are completely protected
  • Tools of your trade: Up to $2,025 of tools used for your trade are protected
  • Motor vehicle: Equity in a motor vehicle up to $3,225 (value of vehicle after outstanding loans are subtracted)
  • Household goods and furnishings: Up to $10,775 in household goods and furnishings are protected
  • Jewelry: Up to $1,350 in jewelry is protected
  • Wild card exemption: Can be used for those who do not own a home to protect half the value of the bankruptcy exception plus an additional $1,025
  • Additional applicable exemptions: Many of the above amounts can be doubled if husband and wife file for bankruptcy jointly and the property is owned jointly.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: When filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, state or federal exemptions can be used to keep property from being liquidated. Any exempt property can be used in your quest to make a fresh start. However, any property not classified as exempt is subject to possible liquidation by the bankruptcy trustee.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 debtors are considered to be debtors in possession, keeping both exempt and nonexempt assets (although all property is included in the marital estate, the debtor still has control over such property). Any protected assets are not subject to a bankruptcy trustee’s grasp. After a careful liquidation analysis, the court may allow a reduction of debt, rolling it into a three- to five-year (36 – 60 months) repayment plan depending on the specifics of your case. A debtor may elect to retain all exempt or nonexempt assets, or to liquidate exempt assets in order to repay a significant portion of the repayment amount, reducing the amount that must be repaid over the course of the repayment period.

Talk With Our Bankruptcy Attorneys About Your Situation

We offer flexible meeting schedules and affordable payment plans. Call (856) 988-9055 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.

*Federal bankruptcy exemptions are revisited every three years to assess necessary increases tied to cost-of-living increases.

the Law Office of Andrew B. Finberg, LLC is located in Marlton, New Jersey and provides skilled legal counsel to individuals needing help with bankruptcy in Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Mount Laurel, Morristown, Maple Shade and serves Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties.

We are proud to be a federally designated debt relief agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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