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Bankruptcy FAQ

What assets can you keep when navigating Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy,” can be a daunting process. Yet, it’s important to know that not everything you own is at risk. Certain exemptions ensure that you can keep some of your property.

Homestead exemption

One of the most substantial protections is the homestead exemption. This law allows you to shield your home, or at least a portion of its value, from creditors. In Louisiana, you can protect up to $35,000 of equity in your primary residence. For instance, if your home is worth $150,000 and you owe $120,000, you can retain it because the $30,000 equity falls within the exemption limit.

Personal property exemptions

Louisiana law also protects various personal property items. You can retain:

  • Household goods and furnishings: You can protect essential items such as furniture, appliances, and clothing.
  • Motor vehicles: You can exempt up to $7,500 in equity in one car, which helps ensure you have reliable transportation.
  • Tools of the trade: If you have tools or equipment necessary for your job, you can protect them.

Wages and income

You can also protect a portion of your income. The law permits the exemption of 75% of your earned but unpaid wages or an amount equivalent to 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. This provision ensures that you retain adequate funds to cover your living expenses.

Retirement accounts

Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, are generally exempt under federal law. This protects your retirement savings from creditors, allowing you to maintain financial security.

Understanding these exemptions can provide peace of mind during the bankruptcy process. While Chapter 7 allows you to start over, Louisiana’s protections ensure you are not starting from scratch. If you’re considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can safeguard your assets by consulting an attorney.

Ready to Protect Your Assets?

Navigating bankruptcy can be complex, but understanding your rights and protections is essential. This knowledge provides a foundation for maintaining financial stability and achieving a fresh start.