When filing bankruptcy, you may be allowed to keep your home and most if not all of your personal property.
Under Washington law, your home and personal property are protected up to various dollar amounts depending on the type of property.
Please be advised the bankruptcy exemptions and amounts below are subject to change at any time, as exemption limits are frequently changing.
To receive the latest in bankruptcy exemption sums and information on how the law can protect your house, car and/or personal property from your creditors, please contact Attorney Bankruptcy Services today.
Bankruptcy Exemptions - Exempt Property
Bankruptcy Exemptions: Homestead Exemption -
This exemption can be used to protect up to $40,000 of the equity in your home and its improvements, your land, and/or your mobile home. For example, if your mortgage(s) total $160,000 and your home was valued at 175,000, your equity of $15,000 would be protected and you would not have to sell your house. Be sure to obtain a market analysis in order to determine the proper value of your home.
Motor Vehicle Exemption
Bankruptcy Exemptions: Motor Vehicle Exemption -
This exemption may be used to protect $2,500 in value of any one motor vehicle listed in your bankruptcy. Additionally, if you file the bankruptcy with a spouse you can use both vehicle exemptions to protect up to $5,000 in vehicle equity. For example, if your vehicle loan is $5,000.00 and the value of your car is $7,000, your motor vehicle (and equity of $2,000) would be protected in your bankruptcy. To value your motor vehicle, please utilize retail value and visit either www.kbb.com or www.nada.com.
Household Goods Exemption
Bankruptcy Exemptions: Household Goods Exemption -
This exemption allows your lawyers to protect $2,700 of your interest in your valued household goods, appliances, furniture, and home and yard equipment. When valuing household goods, be careful to utilize the resale value, not the price of the goods or sentimental value.
Life Insurance Proceeds Exemption
Bankruptcy Exemptions: Life Insurance Proceeds Exemption -
This exemption can be used to protect a payment under a life insurance contract that insured the life of an individual of whom you were a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for your support or the support of your dependent(s).
Qualified Retirement Plan Exemption
Bankruptcy Exemptions: Qualified Retirement Plan Exemption -
So long as your retirement plan is a qualified plan under the IRS and/or ERISA, it may be fully exempted. However, there are careful considerations must be taken based on recent legal decisions and law changes regarding Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and other retirement benefit plans. It is important to discuss your individual retirement plan with us before you file bankruptcy.
Tools of the Trade, Professional Books Exemption
Bankruptcy Exemptions: Tools of the Trade, Professional Books Exemption -
This exemption can be used to protect up to $5,000 of the tools you use in your profession. For example, a landscaper may protect lawnmowers, sheering scissors and other tools utilized to perform his or her duties as a landscaper.
Unemployment Compensation Benefits Exemption
Bankruptcy Exemptions: Unemployment Compensation Benefits Exemption -
Your unemployment compensation may be beyond your creditors' reach in bankruptcy. However, past due child support may still be deducted from the income of people receiving public assistance.
Personal Injury Exemption
Bankruptcy Exemptions: Personal Injury Exemption -
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you can protect up to $16,150 of your personal injury award from creditors' reach. It is important to disclose your personal injury claim to your attorney when first discussing your case with us.
Wildcard Exemption (Any Personal Property of the Debtor)
Bankruptcy Exemptions: Wildcard Exemption -
The "wildcard" exemption is a catch-all category that permits you to protect your property not covered by any of the other exemptions. Under this exemption, we can protect up to $2,000 worth of personal property, including a maximum of $200 in cash, bank accounts, and securities.
In addition to the Washington state exemptions set forth above, you may choose instead to utilize Federal law exemptions. In many cases where clients do not own a residence, federal law exemptions allow you to protect higher value personal property items such as automobile equity. To inquire about the specific Federal exemption dollar amounts and how the Federal exemptions can protect your personal property, contact Attorney Bankruptcy Services today.
For more information on bankruptcy exemptions or exempt property in bankruptcy, contact us for a free consultation.