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Exemptions can provide you with post-bankruptcy stability

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Bankruptcy

The personal bankruptcy process can provide you with significant and real debt relief that can set you on course to achieving the fresh financial start that you want. Yet, if you’re like most people, then you’re probably worried about some of the negative consequences of bankruptcy that you’ve heard about. Many of these perceptions are false, such as that you won’t have any assets left over after successfully pursuing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In fact, bankruptcy exemptions allow you to retain a good amount of your assets so that you can start the next chapter of your life with some sense of financial stability. But what will you get to keep? Let’s look a little closer so that you know where you might stand after pursuing a personal bankruptcy petition.

What exemptions can you claim in your bankruptcy case?

As you pursue personal bankruptcy, you’ll want to position yourself to come out of the other side as stable as possible. This will require you to utilize as many bankruptcy exemptions as possible. But what exemptions are available to you? Utilizing Georgia’s bankruptcy exemptions, you can claim the following:

  • Homestead exemption: Pursuant to Georgia law, you can claim $21,500 in the homestead exemption as an individual, or $43,000 as a couple. This means that if your equity stake in the home is less than the amount of the exemption, then you’ll likely be able to keep your house once the bankruptcy process is finalized. But even if the equity amount is higher than the exemption amount and you’re forced to sell it, you can still walk away with the equity up to the homestead exemption amount that you claim.
  • Motor vehicle exemption: You can also claim up to $5,000 in a motor vehicle exemption. Again, this could position you to keep your vehicle. If not, then you’ll at least have some funds with which to purchase another vehicle to help you get around.
  • Personal property exemption: The law allows you to keep up to $5,000 in household goods, appliances, furnishing, clothing, books, and instruments. This is a significant amount that could allow you to keep much of what you own. You can also retain up to $500 in jewelry.
  • Retirement account exemptions: Several retirement accounts are also exempted from the bankruptcy process. This might include your pension, and the exemption will be applicable to your IRAs. This helps position you for a viable retirement when the time comes.
  • Tools of the trade exemption: Here, you can retain up to $1,500 worth of tools and equipment that you need to perform your job.
  • Wildcard exemption: With this exemption, you can keep up to $1,200 of any property that you want. This gives you flexibility in deciding what you want to keep. If you don’t fully utilize your homestead exemption, then you can claim up to an additional $10,000 in wildcard exemptions.

As you can see, there are several opportunities to advocate for exemptions that leave you on firm financial footing once all is said and done. Contrary to popular belief, then, you won’t be left without assets once your bankruptcy is finalized.

Develop the bankruptcy strategy that positions you for the life you want

Bankruptcy can be the start of your new life. But you need to be proactive in protecting your interests throughout the process. Otherwise, you might miss out on opportunities that give you a toehold on the financial stability that you’ve wanted for so long. To secure the future you’ve been thinking of, start planning how you’re going to approach your bankruptcy case now. Hopefully then you can confidently and competently move through the process.