Guest Post by Community Supporter Higgins and Associates
Keeping your stuff is probably important to you. Faced with financial obligations that you are unable to pay, understanding the exemptions available in bankruptcy can help you take steps to preserve as many of your belongings as possible in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
In the State of Texas, both federal and state bankruptcy exemptions are available for those filing bankruptcy. There are some limits on certain exemptions such as equity that you have in a home or in a vehicle.
The law office of Robert A. Higgins and Associates, with convenient locations in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex has offered assistance to hundreds of clients looking for a way out of debt. Below is a brief summary of the exemptions available to those who file bankruptcy in Texas.
Homestead: Unlimited, although, property cannot exceed 10 acres in town, village, city, or 100 acres elsewhere (200 per family). Sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after sale.
Pensions: Tax-exempt retirement accounts, traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,095,000 per person, and virtually all pension and survivor’s benefits.
Insurance: Most life, health, accident or annuity benefits, monies, policy proceeds and cash value, due or paid to beneficiary or insured.
Miscellaneous: Property of business partnership; alimony and child support; higher education savings plan trust account; liquor licenses and permits
Personal Property: Includes items up to $60,000 in value for family, or $30,000 for single adult.
Public Benefits: Unemployment compensation; Workers’ compensation; Crime victims’ compensation; Medical assistance; and Public assistance
Tools of Trade: Tools, books, equipment and boat or motor vehicle used in trade, farming or ranching vehicles and implements
Wages: Earned but unpaid wages and unpaid commissions not to exceed 25% of total personal property exemptions
In a chapter 7 bankruptcy case the debtor is required to turn over to the trustee only the nonexempt money or property that he or she possessed at the time the case was filed. Since many nonexempt assets are liquid in nature and tend to vary in size or amount from day to day, it is wise for the debtor to engage in some negative estate planning. With the help of a qualified Texas bankruptcy lawyer, a debtor can legally minimize the value or amount of these liquid assets on the day and hour that the chapter 7 bankruptcy case is filed.