Are you struggling with overwhelming debt? If so, know that you’re not alone. Millions of Americans find themselves fighting everyday just to make ends meet. Sadly, this often means turning to credit cards, which can cause existing debt to spiral even more out of control. And while bankruptcy may be a very real debt relief option for you, you may have hesitations. Among them is the fear that completing the bankruptcy process will leave you with nothing, let alone the financial stability that you want.
Bankruptcy exemptions are available to you
The good news is that the bankruptcy process is aimed at helping you get back on your feet by giving you a fresh financial start. In other words, you’re not going to be left completely broke once the process is finalized.
This is because the federal government and the state of New York recognize certain bankruptcy exemptions. These are assets that you are able to keep, even if you discharge your debts through the bankruptcy process. Let’s look at some of those exemptions here:
- Your car: As you proceed through your bankruptcy case, you’ll be able to retain nearly $5,000 worth of value that you have built up in your car. If your vehicle is equipped to address a disability, such as by having a wheelchair lift, you’re allowed to keep nearly $12,000 worth of the vehicle’s value.
- Cash: You can keep about $6,000 in cash, even after you complete your bankruptcy. This amount may increase if you don’t utilize other exemptions.
- Homestead: Depending on where you live in New York, you can claim a significant homestead exemption. This figure may be as high as nearly $180,000.
- Books: You’re allowed to keep up to $600 worth of books that you may have accumulated over time.
- Jewelry: You won’t necessarily have to get rid of your heirloom jewelry either, as you’re allowed to keep over $1,000 worth of jewelry once the bankruptcy process is completed.
- Tools: If you have tools that you use in your profession, you’re allowed to keep about $3,500 worth of them for future use.
- Tuition savings: If you’ve saved money for your own educational expenses or those of your children, you can retain nearly $12,000 of those savings, which protects your ability to provide the educational opportunities that you hoped for.
- Animals: If you have animals that you use as a food source, you can keep some of them, as long as their value doesn’t surpass $1,100.
As you can see, there are a number of exemptions available to you, which means that you can land on firm financial footing post-bankruptcy, at a time when many, if not all, of your debts have been erased. So, through sound bankruptcy planning, you may be able to achieve the outcome that you hoped would be provided by the process.
Do you need a legal advocate by your side?
The outcome of your bankruptcy case can reshape your life for years to come. That’s why you need to know how to competently navigate the process. As daunting as that may seem, you don’t have to face the process alone. Skilled legal advocates like those at our firm stand ready to assist you in building the case that you need to maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. Hopefully, you can then focus on getting back to a normal life without the financial pressures that have plagued you for far too long.