In bankruptcy law, exemptions are in place which will allow you to keep your assets and belongings that are valued up to a certain amount. That amount is set by the exemption. Each state either creates their own exemption scheme and/or allows debtors to use the federal exemption scheme.
Most people who file for bankruptcy are able to keep most or all of their belongings.
Why Debtors Get to Keep Assets
The point of bankruptcy is to help people get out of debt and put them in a better position, not to leave them worse off. The right to keep certain assets through bankruptcy is rooted in the idea that a debtor needs something with which to start over. If the bankruptcy process forced people to give up everything, it would further harm people.
Instead, bankruptcy allows for people to retain certain assets and belongings, like a car, a place to live, retirement funds, clothes and household furnishings, so that they are empowered to get back on their feet and have the opportunity to make the most of a fresh financial start.
Types of Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated §44-13-100 lays forth the allowable Georgia exemption amounts. Our state allows for exemption amounts for your house, vehicle(s), retirement accounts, household goods, and many other belongings. View the full list of Georgia exemptions here.
The following are some notable highlights from Georgia bankruptcy exemptions:
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.
Up to $5,000 of equity is protected in one or more motor vehicles. This includes your cars, trucks, motorcycles, or other motor vehicles.
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.
Professionally prescribed health aids for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor are fully exempt.
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.
The foregoing is not a complete list of all available Georgia exemptions. For a full list of Georgia, exemptions click here.
If You Need Help Getting Out of Debt
Bankruptcy is a complex and nuanced area of law. Here at the Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel, we will make sure you understand the protections and benefits of bankruptcy and how filing with affect you and your family. We take the time to explain the bankruptcy process to our clients. We invite you to get to know us here and read about the clients we’ve helped here.
To have your questions about bankruptcy in Georgia answered, come meet with us for a free consultation. We proudly serve the people of Savannah, Chatham County, Effingham County, Bulloch County, Bryan County, Liberty County, and Long County.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Find out more about Bankruptcy in our guide: All About Bankruptcy.