What Property Can I Keep After Bankruptcy?
The first thing many people wonder when they file for bankruptcy is what property they may be able to keep and what they will lose. Each case is different and can be complicated as it moves forward. The Law Office of Joseph M. Annutto can review your individual situation and determine what property you will be able to keep if you file for bankruptcy.
Types of Bankruptcy
The type of bankruptcy filed plays a huge role in the property that can be kept or considered exempt. If Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed, you can keep your property. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially an agreement to repay debts over a period of three to five years. If you stick to the repayment plan, you get to keep the property in question. With this form of bankruptcy, you can keep your home, car, and any other asset you agree to pay for over the time period approved by the courts.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of liquidation and you could lose property you have worked hard to acquire. However, there is property that is considered exempt and you can keep these items under certain circumstances. Exemptions can be either federal or state. You can pick which to pursue. In New Hampshire, the exemptions are pretty clear. You can keep up to $100,000 in home equity. You can also keep what is commonly known as “tools of the trade” valued up to $5,000. There are personal belongings that may also be safe from liquidation under the exemption laws. Beds and bedding can be kept and home furnishings valued at up to $3,500 also. $500 in jewelry can be exempt from liquidation. Benefits such as unemployment, retirement plans, and public assistance are also safe from being taken to repay creditors. Under Chapter 7, a certain amount of livestock can be kept. The livestock exemption breaks down to 6 sheep, 1 pig, 1 hog, a horse, and a cow.
Filing Bankruptcy with Your Spouse
When you file for exemptions as a means of keeping property, the amount of the exemption is doubled if you file bankruptcy with a spouse. This basically means you will get to keep more property.
Attorney Annutto knows how hard you have worked to earn all you have. We also know bankruptcy can be distressing and confusing. If you are unaware of the property laws or exemptions, you can end up losing property you may have been able to keep. Let our trusted and experienced bankruptcy attorneys review your situation and see what property you may be able to keep as we help you regain your financial footing. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.