Bankruptcy Exemptions

Bankruptcy Exemptions in Buffalo

Which Property Do You Get to Keep?

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be concerned about having to give up certain property. Will you lose your wedding ring? Will you have to sell your tools or your coin collection? At Smith & Messina LLP, we are here to tell you that thanks to bankruptcy exemptions, you may not have to give up anything.

If you are worried about losing valuable assets in bankruptcy, this is a common concern. But, the good news is that we have a great deal of experience helping people file for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and we will take the time to ensure that you maximize your exemptions to the fullest extent of the law.

Why call Smith & Messina LLP?

What are bankruptcy exemptions?

Bankruptcy exemptions are a list of assets that you are allowed to keep when you file for bankruptcy. Each state has its own laws in regards to what property you can keep in bankruptcy – these are called "exemptions."

If property is considered "exempt," it means that it is protected and you don't have to turn it over to creditors to pay off a debt. The exemptions allow the debtor to protect some or all of the value of their property up to the exempt amount.

Exempt property in bankruptcy is protected under state or federal laws. Some states allow you to choose one over the other; New York allows you to choose between the state and federal lists, but there is no mixing or matching.

The objective is for you to choose whichever list is more advantageous and will allow you to retain the most, if not all of your assets in bankruptcy.

Examples of federal bankruptcy exemptions:

  • $3,675 for a motor vehicle
  • $1,550 for jewelry
  • $2,300 for tools of a trade, including books
  • Life insurance policies
  • Child support or alimony payments
  • Social Security benefits
  • Public assistance

Examples of New York State bankruptcy exemptions:

  • $75,000 homestead exemption
  • Workers' compensation benefits
  • $10,000 for wedding ring
  • Burial plot without structure – up to 100%
  • Court-ordered alimony or child support
  • $1,000 wildcard exemption if you don't use the homestead exemption
  • Unemployment, Social Security, public assistance

Speak to a Buffalo Bankruptcy Attorney

If filing for bankruptcy would get the creditors off your back, relieve stress and allow you to sleep better at night, we urge you to contact our Buffalo bankruptcy lawyer. Bankruptcy can offer a second chance and the fresh start that you truly need.

Give us a call to arrange your free, confidential consultation to find out how we can help you!

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