OUR CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY PRACTICE

What can I keep if I file bankruptcy? The critical issue facing anyone wanting to file a bankruptcy is to understand what assets in a bankruptcy are protected or are exempt so that personal assets are not lost during the bankruptcy process. An experienced bankruptcy attorney must be able to advise you as to both the New York State and Federal exemptions. Depending on the specific facts of your case, you can opt to select either the New York State exemptions or the Federal exemptions.

The attorneys at Macco & Stern, LLP, practice bankruptcy law exclusively. We take pride in our comprehensive knowledge of the Bankruptcy Code and our ability to find the right solutions for each client. Please contact us today to discuss New York bankruptcy exemptions in a free initial consultation.

The following is a brief synopsis of the exemptions:

NEW YORK STATE BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTIONS

  1. Homestead exemption - a person who owns and resides in his or her primary residence can claim an exemption of $165,550.00 of equity in the home. Therefore a husband and wife who own a house together and reside at that home can exempt up to $331,100.00 of equity above any mortgage obligation on the house.
  2. You can exempt jewelry, including a wedding ring, watches etc. or art up to $1,100.00 of value.
  3. A self-employed individual can exempt tools of the trade such as computers or hand tools of up to $3,300.00 in value.
  4. The equity in an automobile can be protected up to $4,425.00 per vehicle owned by an individual debtor.
  5. Household goods and wearing apparel are protected up to $11,025.00.
  6. Recovery on a personal injury is exempt up to $8,275.00.
  7. Cash exemption - if you do not assert a homestead exemption you can exempt up to $5,525.00 per person plus an additional $1,100.00 towards any personal property bank accounts or cash.

FEDERAL EXEMPTIONS

  1. You can protect $12,625.00 in household goods, wearing apparel and household furnishings.
  2. Social Security benefits, unemployment compensation and Veterans benefits are completely exempt as well as pension and retirement benefits. This applies both to New York State and Federal exemptions.
  3. You can protect a payment on recovery not to exceed $23,675.00 from a personal injury recovery.
  4. Each debtor is allowed to exempt up to $3,775.00 in a car titled to that person.
  5. Jewelry is exempted up to $1,600.00.
  6. Tools of the Trade are exempt up to $2,375.00 in value.
  7. There is a wildcard exemption that allows individuals to protect assets to be applied to any non-exempt asset depending upon your home ownership up to an additional $13,100.00.
  8. If you own a home you can assert a real property exemption up to $23,675.00. If you take that real property exemption it may limit or forfeit you ability to utilize the wildcard exemption.

Every case is different. Every case has to be analyzed based on assets, liabilities and specific issues pertaining to your particular situation. Again, only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide you with a complete analysis of options available to you.