One of the biggest fears people have about bankruptcy is that all of their belongings will be taken. For us, this fear is disheartening because it is grounded in the vast misinformation and myths about bankruptcy. We want you to know that you will not lose all of your belongings if you file for bankruptcy. This bears repeating:
You will not lose all of your belongings if you file for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is a solution to financial problems. Bankruptcy is not a process that will strip you of living essentials and basic possessions. The truth is most people who file for bankruptcy are able to keep most or all of their belongings.
We firmly believe in bankruptcy protection. So, we do all we can to debunk and dispel bankruptcy myths! Read our article here.
How Property & Belongings Are Protected in Bankruptcy
Property and belongings are protected in bankruptcy through what are called “exemptions.” Bankruptcy law provides for you to keep property, assets, and other belongings valued up to a certain dollar amount through exemptions. Property that is protected in bankruptcy is known as “exempt property.” You get to keep the exempt property if its value does not exceed a certain dollar amount.
Briefly, this is how exemptions operate: in your bankruptcy petition you list your property and belongings, your assets, and then you list the appropriate exemption, which protects the asset from being seized and sold during the bankruptcy process. You get to keep all exempt property.
Property & Belongings Protected in Bankruptcy – Georgia
Each state either has their own exemption scheme, or they allow debtors to use the federal exemption scheme put forth in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Georgia law allows for exemption amounts for your house, automobile(s), household goods, retirement accounts, and many other belongings. Click here to view the full list of Georgia exemptions.
Here are some highlights of Georgia Exemptions:
- Your House: Georgia homestead exemption allows you to protect up to $21,500 of equity in real estate. If the title to the property is held by one of two spouses, you may exempt up to $43,000 of equity in real estate.
- Your Car: Up to $5,000 of equity is protected in one or more motor vehicles. This includes your cars, trucks, motorcycles, or other motor vehicles.
- Your Household Goods: debtors may exempt up to $5,000 in total value of household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops, or musical instruments, but no value of one particular item is to exceed $300.
- Your “Wildcard” Exemption: Georgia law allows for a “wildcard” exemption of $1,200 on any belonging. Plus any unused portion of the homestead exemption, up to $10,000, may also be used to exempt other property and belongings not otherwise provided for in the law.
- Double Exemptions for Married Couples: If you and your spouse file a joint bankruptcy in Georgia, you may double the exemption amounts provided for in the law.
This is by no means a complete list! There are many exemptions available to use in Georgia. For a full list of Georgia exemptions, click here.
We’re Here To Answer Your Questions About What is Protected in Bankruptcy
Call us today (912) 351-9000 to schedule your free consultation. We invite you to learn more about who we are here. We’re committed to helping people get out of debt and gain the financial freedom they deserve.
The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel proudly serves all of Savannah, GA and the surrounding counties including Chatham County, Effingham County, Bulloch County, Bryan County, Liberty County, Long County.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.