What property can I keep in Chapter 7?

I often speak with new clients in my bankruptcy law practice here in Asheville NC about what property they can keep should they decide to file a Chapter 7 case.  In over 90% of the cases filed, the answer is:  everything.

All of your property should be listed on your petition, but most of the time, all of it can be exempted.  Exempting property correctly prohibits a Chapter 7 trustee from selling it for distribution to unsecured creditors.

The most typical exemptions used in Wester North Carolina are for the homestead (35k per spouse, 70k if joint filing), car ($3,500 in equity per spouse, 7k if joint), household property (5k per spouse, 10k if joint), and wildcard (5k per spouse, 10k if joint).

There are other exemptions for 2 months of wages, tools of the trade, etc.  Also, it should be noted that the values of your property are not what you paid for it, but what you could sell if for today at a garage sale or on ebay.  The best way to determine what property you can keep is to contact me for a free, initial consultation.

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