Bankruptcy Exemptions

 

What Property is Safe from Creditors in a Bankruptcy?

The Bankruptcy Exemptions set forth the items of property that you may keep in Bankruptcy. The objective is to keep all of your property. Sometimes a little planning is required. You may choose the New York State Exemptions or the Federal Exemptions.

What are the New York Bankruptcy Exemptions?

HOMESTEAD- CPLR 5206 - Real property, including mobile home, condominium, or co-op, up to $75,000 (Note: Joint Debtors $150,000 if property jointly owned).

PERSONAL PROPERTY - Up to $10,000 - CPLR 5205 - Clothing, furniture, refrigerator, TV, radio, sewing machine, security deposits with landlord or utility company, tableware, cooking utensils and crockery , stoves with fuel to last 60 days, health aids (including service animals with food), church pew or seat, wedding ring, bible, schoolbooks, pictures; books up to $500; domestic animals with food to last 60 days and up to $1000; watch art, and jewelry to $1000; tools of trade $3000; spendthrift trust fund principal; 90% of trust fund income if not created by debtor; college tuition savings program trust fund; recovery for injury to exempt property up to 1 year after receiving. Exemptions cannot exceed a total of $5,000 including tools of trade and limited annuity.

COMPUTER & PHONE - One Computer and one Cell Phone - No Value Limit

CASH - Up to $6000 per person if the homestead exemption is NOT used and the aggregate individual bankruptcy exemption totals $5000 or less for personal property.

WILDCARD - $1000 - If homestead exemption not used for any property including cash.

BURIAL PLOT - CPLR 5206 - up to 1/4 acre without a structure on it.

MOTOR VEHICLE - Debtor & Creditor 282 - up to $4000, or $10,000 for disabled equipped vehicle

PERSONAL INJURY RECOVERY - $7500 personal injury recovery not including pain and suffering or pecunary loss and wrongful death recoveries for a person you depended upon for support.

RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS - Most pensions, Tax exempt retirement accounts, IRA's 401k, Roth IRA, ERISA-qualified plans, Keoghs, etc., are exempt.

PUBLIC BENEFITS - Debtor & Creditor 282 - Unemployment benefits; veterans' benefits; Social Security; aid to blind, aged, and disabled; crime victims' compensation; home relief, local public assistance; public assistance; worker's compensation.

TOOLS OF TRADE - Professional furniture, books, instruments, farm machinery, team and food for 60 days, up to $3000 total; arms, swords, uniforms, equipment, horse, emblem and medal of a military member.

ALIMONY, MAINTENANCE, CHILD SUPPORT - no limit.

INSURANCE - Debtor & Creditor 283 - Annuity contract benefits due to the debtor if he or she paid for the contract up to $10,000, if purchased within 6 months of filing for bankruptcy and not tax-deferred. Estates Powers & Trusts 7-1.5 - Life insurance proceeds left at death if policy prohibits use to pay creditors. Insurance 3212 - Disability or illness benefits up to $400 per month; life insurance proceeds, dividends, interest, loan, cash, or surrender value if beneficiary is not the debtor or if the debtor's spouse has taken out the policy.

What are the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions?

HOMESTEAD - 522(d)(1) - Real property, including mobile home, condominium, or co-op, up to $23,675 (Joint Debtors $47,350, if property jointly owned).

HOUSEHOLD GOODS - 522(d)(3) - $12,625, Joint $25,250.

MOTOR VEHICLE - 522 (d)(2) - up to $3775, $7550 Jointly owned vehicle.

JEWELRY - 522 (d)(4) - up to $1600.

ANY PROPERTY -522 (d)(5) - $1250 plus up to 11,850 of the unused portion of the homestead exemption - includes cash.

TOOLS OF TRADE - 522 (d)(6) - $2375.

CASH VALUE LIFE INSURANCE - 522(d)(8) - up to $12,625, and any un-matured Life Insurance Contract - no Limit (d)(7).

SOCIAL SECURITY, SSD, SSI VETERANS, ALIMONY, CHILD SUPPORT - 522 (d)(10) - No Limit if reasonably necessary for support.

PERSONAL INJURY AWARDS - 522(d)(11)(d) - 23,675.

QUALIFIED RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS - 522 (d)(12) - No Limit.