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What Property Can I Keep And What Will I Lose In A Chapter 7 Filing?

The dollar amounts and the specific items that are exempt vary from state to state. However, the following are some typical examples of property and amounts that you can keep when filing Chapter 7. If you are married and both spouses are filing together, the dollar amounts given below are doubled.

  • A car, up to $1,200
  • Clothes
  • Household goods and furniture, up to $200 per item
  • Appliances
  • Your principal home
  • Personal effects, up to $200 per item
  • Jewelry, up to $500
  • Professional tools, up to $750
  • Income from social security, disability, public assistance, unemployment, pension funds, life insurance, alimony or veteran's benefits
  • Unpaid but earned wages
  • Pensions
  • Miscellaneous property, such as life insurance money from a relative's death, etc.

What you can lose also keep depends on your state's law. However, the list below illustrates typical items that you might expect to lose when filing Chapter 7.

  • a second residence
  • recreational vehicles
  • a second car
  • stamp, coin and other collections and heirlooms
  • stocks and bond certificates
  • cash on hand (unless it comes from unemployment insurance)
  • deposits of money (e.g., bank accounts, CDs, escrow accounts, money market accounts)
  • property that you own but not have any physical possession (i.e., security deposits)
  • property that you unloaded a year before filing
  • property you are entitled to receive at some future date (e.g., tax refunds, vacation pay, wages)
  • your part of marital estate.

If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Sluka & Minasian, LLC at (201) 798-6500 or submit an online questionnaire.

Federal Law designates this firm as a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.