Bedford Exemption Planning Attorneys
Helping You Repay Your Debt Without Returning Your Assets
Bankruptcy affords debtors an opportunity to clear their debts when they cannot afford to repay them entirely. Often, to do this, individuals must relinquish some of their assets to recover some additional money to put towards repaying creditors. However, there are ways to protect the assets most important to you while clearing debt by considering the chapter you file for and whether to follow state or federal exemption regulations. The Law Office of Mark B. French can help Bedford residents protect what’s important to them while rebuilding their finances.
Contact The Law Office of Mark B. French to protect your assets when you file for bankruptcy.
How Can I Protect My Assets in Bankruptcy?
Depending on the amount and value of assets you’re hoping to protect, our lawyers can help you decide on which filing to choose and whether to opt for the federal or state exemptions. It is important to note that filers cannot choose specific exemptions from both offerings. Rather, the filer must decide on one and abide by all the guidelines.
Texas’ exemption allowances are fortunately generous. Texas exemptions protect assets such as:
- Your home, regardless of value, so long as it is your primary residence
- Your cars, regardless of value, so long as there is one car per driver in the home
- Up to 10 acres in an urban area
- Up to 100 acres in a rural area if single, 200 if it serves a family
- Up to $50,000 in personal property for a single person, or $100,000 for a family, of which no more than 25% may be jewelry
- Up to $30,000 in household items for singles, or $60,000 for families
- Income from Social Security, welfare, unemployment, or retirement benefits, spousal or child support
Many of our clients choose to follow Texas exemptions, especially if they are homeowners and own their own vehicle. It provides less restrictions based on the value of your assets.
Federal exemptions offer less protection than Texas, though are a better choice for some filers. Federal exemptions protect assets such as:
- Up to $25,150 of equity in an owned property for individual filers, or $50,300 for families
- Up to $4,000 for your vehicle
- Up to $13,400 of household goods, clothing, leisure items, livestock, and crops, with no single item exceeding $625
- Up to $1,700 for jewelry
- $1,325 for Wildcard Exemption, with an additional $12,575 if you did not redeem homestead exemptions
- Lost earning payments, unemployment benefits, public assistance, Social Security, and more
A key differentiator in the federal plan is the “Wildcard Exemption” category. With this section, filers may choose to apply the money within the category either entirely on assets uncovered by predetermined exemptions or divvied up between categories to protect a larger wealth of property. It’s most popular among filers who do not own a home of their own.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as liquidation bankruptcy, which may initially diminish one’s hope of keeping their belongings once they file. Still, while this option focuses on repaying the creditors as best as possible and using the profits from selling your assets to do so, exemptions exist up to a certain amount (depending on the state) to offer filers the chance to keep some or all of their vehicles, homes, goods, and more. The exemptions listed above would apply in this case, while other assets are susceptible to resale.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is ideal for those who wish to completely preserve their debts. Through this process, the debtor is not required to sell any of their assets. Instead, their debt is restructured and paid back over 3 to 5 years in accordance with a repayment plan agreed to by the creditors.
The Law Office of Mark B. French will listen to your goals and evaluate your assets to help you decide on the best approach to clearing your debts.
Call our asset protection lawyers at The Law Office of Mark B. French to discuss your financial situation and strategize how to protect your assets: (817) 381-9855.