What Kinds of Property Are Usually Exempt in Bankruptcy?

Who is the Top Bankruptcy Lawyer?

One of the downsides to filing Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy is the idea that you may need to liquidate some personal property to partially repay creditors. For those already struggling with overwhelming debt, the thought of losing anything else can be unbearable.

The reassuring news is that bankruptcy courts don’t want you to be worse off than before you filed, because that would lead to greater financial trouble and would defeat the purpose of bankruptcy. As such, there are numerous bankruptcy exemptions that may be available to you, which can protect your most important assets and allow you to take advantage of the fresh financial start you have been given. If you live in Texas and might need to file for bankruptcy, it may be in your best interest to find out who is the top bankruptcy lawyer in Cypress, TX as soon as you can.

Some of the Most Common Exemptions Used
Below is a brief overview of the most common exemptions you might take advantage of in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Home Equity (Homestead) Exemptions: If you own a home but are still paying it off, the amount you have already paid off is the amount of equity you have. Nearly every state has a cap on the amount of equity that can be exempted.
Vehicle Exemptions: This is similar to the home equity exemption above. If you are still paying off a vehicle, the amount you have paid is your equity. Each state will have its own cap on exempted equity.
Personal Property Exemptions: bankruptcy laws were designed to allow you to keep important personal property (anything you can physically touch that isn’t attached to your land or your house), but not necessarily luxury items. Therefore, depending on where you live, you may be able to claim an exemption on a certain dollar amount of personal property items and/or a certain dollar value per item. For full details, it is best to speak to a bankruptcy attorney.

Exemptions on Property Necessary for Work
This is often called the “tools of the trade” exemption and is available in many states. If you own property that you need in order to do your job, you may be able to exempt it up to a certain dollar amount.
Retirement Account Exemptions: Some retirement accounts are exempt in bankruptcy (in whole or in part) if they are considered “ERISA qualified.” This can be a complex calculation, so speak with an attorney.
Wildcard Exemptions: Let’s say you own assets that you want to protect but they aren’t covered by any other exemption. Under federal law and most state laws, you can claim a wildcard exemption up to a certain dollar amount.

Contact an Attorney for Case-Specific Advice and Guidance
Many of the provisions in bankruptcy law are abstract and confusing until you input your own financial details. By speaking to an experienced bankruptcy attorney like those at our firm, you can get a better sense of the exemption options available to you when filing Chapter 7.

Contact us today to arrange an initial consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorney.


We would like to thank the dedicated team at Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC for their valuable information about the types of property that are exempt in bankruptcy.