What You Can Keep After Bankruptcy

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What Can I Keep After Bankruptcy?

Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorneys

When you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Charlotte, you will need to have a good understanding of your options for bankruptcy exemptions. Bankruptcy exemptions are items that remain exempt from being sold in order to discharge your debts.

If the debtor is a person with very few assets, they may be allowed to keep most of their items. For individuals who do have assets and a lot of property, some things may have to be given up in the bankruptcy process. The amount of assets you possess will dictate how many or how few things you can keep when filing for bankruptcy, which can greatly affect one's decision for filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

In North Carolina, an individual debtor is allowed to claim up to $5,000 worth of "personal property" as "exempt" (with an additional $1,000 per dependent; up to $4,000 more). Personal property that is exempt cannot be taken by a Trustee and sold to pay back creditors.

Personal property is things such as:

  • Cash
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Furniture

Motor vehicles (such as cars, boats, motorcycles, etc.) are also considered personal property. However, up to $3,500 is considered exempt. Real property is things such as land, homes, etc. The amount of "homestead exemption" you are afforded depends upon things such as your age, marital status, whether you have minor dependents, etc.

Protecting Your Property and Assets

After filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one may retain any assets that are considered exempt. In most cases, a debtor will not lose a majority of their personal property. Many important exemptions are in place to protect consumers' rights. Federal law allows for certain exemptions of assets that will not go to a trustee. Following a careful review of a debtor's non-exempt assets, if any, a lot of the time there are no sufficient funds left with which to pay for anything more than administration costs; in this instance, the creditors will receive nothing.

Our bankruptcy lawyers at Saffa Law Group will be able to help you identify your exempt and non-exempt assets. Federal law allows exemptions include workers' compensation awards, college funds that have been prepaid, 401K and pension funds, (a portion of) your house / home, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or disability income, and cars (a portion of, but often they are totally exempt).

Limitations to these exemptions do exist; however, the majority of consumers are able to maintain ownership over all of their belongings while still eliminating their debt. Non-exempt property of the estate is what is used to pay the respective creditors. This can be comforting news to someone in dire need of a break from financial strife!

For more information about how your property and assets will be protected, call our firm at (704) 710-8182 to schedule a free consultation and to discuss your rights!

We serve clients throughout the City of Charlotte, Town of Cornelius, Town of Davidson, Town of Huntersville, Town of Matthews, Town of Mint Hill, Town of Pineville, Town of Stallings, Buford, Charlotte, Goose Creek, Hembry Bridge, Indian Trail, JAARS, Jackson, Lake Park, Lanes Creek, Marshville, Marvin, Matthews, Mineral Springs, Mint Hill, Monroe, New Salem, Sandy Ridge, Stallings, Unionville, Vance, Waxhaw, Weddington, Wesley Chapel, Wingate, Concord, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, Midland, and Mt. Pleasant.