What assets can I save using exemptions during bankruptcy?

If you file bankruptcy in New Jersey, the court may take some of your assets. It then sells those assets to get money to repay your creditors. However, there are certain exemptions you may take to keep possession of some of your property. These are outlined by the law and usually have strict limits based on value.

While there is a range of different exemptions, there are some common ones you may wonder about. For example, you may wonder if you will lose your home or vehicle. The state exemption, according to Cornell Law School, allows you to retain real property that is worth no more than $15,000. As for your vehicle, you may keep one automobile with a value of $2,400 or less. If your property is worth more than the limit, it is not exempt and the court may sell it to gather funds.

You may also wonder about your personal items, such as clothing, household furnishings and other similar items. In general, your basic needs are exempt, such as the clothes you wear, the appliances you use in your home and furniture. However, there is a value limit. If your items are valuable, then they may not be exempt. You do have the option of keeping household items of high value up to a total of $8,000. This includes electronics, antiques and art. You also may keep jewelry that is valued up to $1,000 total.

You will also have your income scrutinized and may not have complete control over money coming in. The court may take savings you have or other funds to repay your creditors, but there are exemptions for this as well. The court may not take Social Security benefits, child support, veteran's benefits, alimony needed for support or disability benefits. You also may keep up to $15,000 from a personal bodily injury payment and any payments received from someone else's life insurance, from the crime victim's reparation law or for a wrongful death payment. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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