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Protecting Your Assets: Understanding Bankruptcy Exemptions

bankruptcy exemptions to save your home or car during bankruptcy
Posted on: June 15th, 2023 by: Amanda Daniels  Topic: Bankruptcy

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy but worried about protecting your assets? You are not alone. Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision, and the potential loss of your hard-earned assets can add to the stress.

Fortunately, the U.S. bankruptcy law provides ways to protect certain assets. When considering bankruptcy, it is important to understand the various bankruptcy exemptions and which assets you can protect.

What are Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Bankruptcy exemptions are specific amounts of a debtor’s property that cannot be taken by a creditor or trustee. Depending on the debtor’s jurisdiction or state of residency, these exemptions apply either federal or state law and vary from state to state. These exemptions protect a certain amount of the debtor’s assets from being sold to repay creditors. There are several categories of bankruptcy exemptions, but not all of them are available in all states.

Differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Mississippi

When considering bankruptcy, it is important to understand the different types of bankruptcy and the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy when filed in Mississippi.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the liquidation of a debtor’s non-exempt assets to pay creditors, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the debtor to make payments over three to five years, depending on their income. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 involve the application of bankruptcy exemptions; however, the type of bankruptcy you file for can affect which exemptions are available to you.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a debtor’s non-exempt assets can be sold to pay creditors. In order to protect their assets from being liquidated, the debtor must choose their bankruptcy exemptions carefully. In this type of bankruptcy, the debtor is limited to certain exemptions, usually based on their state of residence.
On the other hand, in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor is allowed to keep all of their assets, but creditors get paid back in full over the repayment period. In this type of bankruptcy, the debtor may use what is known as the Wildcard exemption to protect any assets that are not covered by other exemptions.

Determining Which Exemptions to Use

When considering bankruptcy, it is important to understand which exemptions you can use to protect your assets. This process can be complicated and intimidating, and it is important to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. An experienced attorney can help you determine which exemptions may apply based on your assets and type of bankruptcy.

In addition to asset exemptions, most states, including Mississippi, also have homestead exemptions, which protect a portion of the equity in your home from creditors. Homestead exemptions vary from state to state, so it is important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to determine which exemptions are available.

Potential Impact on Bankruptcy Case

It is important to carefully consider which exemptions to use when filing for bankruptcy, as it can significantly impact your bankruptcy case. When used properly, exemptions can protect some of your assets from bankruptcy liquidation. For example, if your house has more equity than the homestead exemption covers, you can use the Wildcard exemption to protect any remaining equity.

On the other hand, using the Wildcard exemption to protect a high-value asset, such as jewelry or antiques, may reduce the amount of money available to pay your creditors. It is essential to know the rules in your state and consider the impact of using exemptions on your creditors.

Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult and complex process. Understanding the various bankruptcy exemptions and how to use them to protect your assets is important.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy and would like to learn more about the available exemptions and how they can affect your bankruptcy case, call us for a review. We have the experience and knowledge to help you make the right choices for your bankruptcy case.

Tupelo Attorney

  (662) 678-8009

Amanda Todd Daniels is a general practice attorney providing legal services for residents of Mississippi, including Tupelo, Booneville, Corinth, New Albany, Pontotoc, Oxford, Amory, Aberdeen, Fulton, and Ripley MS.

"I recommend Mrs. Daniels to anyone needing legal assistance. She was fast and efficient when dealing with my case. Mrs. Donna gets 10 stars. Never did I feel uncomfortable when asking any of my many questions. Thanks so much for all of your assistance." ~ Hillary B.

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