Your bankruptcy exemptions determine which property you protect from your creditors during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and are also used to calculate how much your payments will be in a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Your Georgia bankruptcy exemptions are an important consideration when preparing for a bankruptcy because they only protect a certain amount of each category of property from being seized to pay your creditors.
If you have property, that is above the amount allowed by the Georgia bankruptcy exemptions, you may lose this property during a bankruptcy. However, if your property is below the amounts listed in the bankruptcy exemptions, you may be able to file for bankruptcy without losing any property.
The Most Important Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions
The homestead exemption protects your interest in real property that you use as a primary residence. The current homestead exemption amount is $21,500. If you are married, you can double the exemption amount, protecting up to $43,000 worth of equity in your home. Any home equity above this amount will not be exempt.
The vehicle exemption allows the debtor to keep $5,000 worth of equity in their vehicle. If you are married, you and your spouse will each receive a $5,000 exemption, but you can only use your exemption on a vehicle that you own or are a joint owner of.
Personal property is protected by a $5,000 exemption that covers a wide variety of property, including furniture, clothes, musical instruments, household goods, appliances, animals, and crops. There is a limit per item of $300.
A wildcard exemption of $1,200 can be used to cover any type of property, whether you have personal items or equity in your car that is not fully covered by the vehicle exemption. Unused homestead exemption amounts up to $5,000 ($10,000 if married) can be used as well. This extra wildcard amount allows debtors that don’t own homes to keep even more of their personal property during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Learn More About Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions
Before you file for bankruptcy, you should talk to a bankruptcy attorney about all of the property you own and determine how much of it will be covered by the Georgia bankruptcy exemptions. This way, you can fully understand how a bankruptcy will affect your property ownership before you file your bankruptcy case.
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