Filing for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy brings to the forefront a fear of losing everything you’ve worked so hard to attain. Rest assured, this doesn’t have to be the case when filing bankruptcy in Georgia.
Georgia bankruptcy attorneys advise of several Georgia bankruptcy exemptions that allow you to keep all or most of your assets and property.
Let’s take a closer look at Georgia’s bankruptcy exemptions as cited in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
Defining the Purpose of Bankruptcy Exemptions
Bankruptcy exemptions protect property and assets in Chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcy. In some instances, filers can protect assets under both state and federal exemptions.
A bankruptcy attorney can explain your state’s laws regarding federal vs. state exemptions and your entitlement to claim one or the other, or both.
Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions vs. Georgia Bankruptcy Exemptions
Seventeen states allow bankruptcy filers to choose between federal and state bankruptcy exemptions. Georgia doesn’t allow bankruptcy filers to claim federal exemptions. If you file bankruptcy in Georgia, you must follow Georgia bankruptcy exemptions.
However, some instances allow you to supplement Georgia’s bankruptcy exemptions with federal exemptions. Applicable exemptions include military and federal disability and retirement accounts, and your bankruptcy lawyer can advise you how your assets qualify.
Georgia’s Bankruptcy Exemptions
Georgia’s bankruptcy exemptions allow you to keep many personal property items under the state’s exemption criteria.
- Real Estate: up to $21,500 of your primary residence or a co-op used as a primary residence. It is double that amount for married filiers.
Personal Property Exemptions:
- Tools of Trade: up to $1500 for necessities of your profession such as books and tools.
- Motor Vehicle Allowance: up to $5000 of your car’s value.
- Jewelry: up to $500 of value for jewelry.
- Animals, Crops, Clothing, Books, Musical Instruments, Appliances, Household Goods, Furnishings, Household Goods, Health Aids, and Burial Plot: a cumulative exemption of up to $5000 is allowed for this category of exempt items. However, each item is limited to a $300 value, and burial plots are exempt only if the homestead exemption is not used.
- Retirement Accounts: up to the total value of specific retirement accounts. Accounts eligible for exemption include the following tax-exempt funds:
401(k)s, 403(b)s, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, IRAS, Roth IRAs, ERISA-IRAs, qualified benefits, profit-sharing, and money purchase plans
Public employee and other pensions, IRA payments needed for support, and nonprofit corporation employees pensions
Alimony, Child Support, and Future Earnings needed for Support:
- Alimony and Child Support: needed for support
- Lost Future Earnings Recoveries: up to $7500 as required for support
- Personal Injury Recoveries: up to $10,000
- Wrongful Death Recoveries: needed for support
Up to the full monetary value of the following public funds may be exempt.
- Aid to the blind
- Aid to the disabled
- Assistance for the elderly
- Workers’ compensation
- Unemployment compensation, Veterans’ benefits, social security, crime victims’ compensation, and local public assistance
- If you or someone you depend on is the beneficiary: up to the loan value, cash value, or $2000
- If the policy is owned by someone you depend on for support: life insurance proceeds.
Consult a Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney Today
If you are contemplating bankruptcy, speaking with a qualified bankruptcy attorney will provide you with valuable insight as you move forward.
Georgia bankruptcy attorneys can advise you regarding the best bankruptcy options for your situation, guide you in the process, and help you determine what assets are protected under Georgia and federal bankruptcy exemptions.
A fresh financial start is available to you, and we can help. Contact our law office today for a comprehensive assessment of your situation and a plan to move forward.
Together, we can work to eliminate your debts, protect your assets, and prepare you for a new financial future. Get in touch with our office today.
Posted in: Bankruptcy