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What can I exempt under Chapter 7?

When a person chooses to pursue a bankruptcy under Chapter 7, he or she only usually has to forfeit some of his or her personal property in the process. In fact, many individuals are quite surprised to learn just how many types of property enjoy some sort of exemption under bankruptcy law. If you're considering using Chapter 7, be sure to take your time and fully understand the process so that you don't miss some of the many benefits this type of bankruptcy has to offer.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person agrees to liquidate his or her personal assets in order to discharge debt. However, there are many possible exemptions a person might use, depending on the nature of his or her debt and what kinds of property he or she owns. For instance, if you choose to use Chapter 7, you may not have to give up your vehicle if it falls below a certain value. You might also be able to keep your clothing, household appliances or furniture.

In some cases, you may even have the ability to keep things like your pension, your public benefits, some equity in your home or even an award from a personal injury suit. Even things like jewelry under a certain value or tools you use in your profession can be exempted.

Of course, in order to properly exempt any of these items, you must properly abide by the terms of your bankruptcy. Far too many individuals choose to approach bankruptcy on their own, which can land them in even bigger trouble. Ironically, many individuals do this to save themselves money, when in reality, obtaining professional legal guidance can not only ease the pressures of the process, it may also end up saving money in the long run. With proper legal counsel, you can rest assured that your bankruptcy is in good hands while you focus on creating a clean start and a new life.

Source: Findlaw, "Exempt vs. Non-exempt Property Under Chapter 7," accessed Aug. 25, 2017

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