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New York Bankruptcy Exemptions

Westchester County Bankruptcy Attorney

A common misconception associated with bankruptcy proceedings is that a debtor will lose all of his or her property. This is simply not the case. At the Bronson Law Offices, P.C. we are committed to dispelling the many myths associated with bankruptcy, particularly those concerning your personal property and assets.

If you are considering a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but are not sure of what property you will be able to keep, an attorney at our offices can advise you on New York's bankruptcy exemptions. An experienced Westchester County bankruptcy lawyer can review your particular situation to determine how your property will be affected if you file for bankruptcy.

What Property Is Exempt?

Following are the basic exemptions available to White Plains and Westchester County debtors who file for bankruptcy (these may vary depending on the particular situation):

  • Homestead exemption-up to $150,000 for the following counties: Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Bronx, New York, Richmond, Queens, Kings, Nassau and Suffolk; $125,000 for Dutchess, Albany, Columbia, Orange, Saratoga and Ulster; $75,000 for all other counties in the state of New York.
  • Motor vehicle exemption - up to $4,000. If the vehicle is equipped for use by a disabled person, the exemption amount is $10,000.
  • Clothing, furniture, refrigerator, tableware, cooking utensils, television and radio valued - up to $10,000
  • Wedding ring - $5,000
  • Family bible, portraits, family pictures and school books - up to $500.
  • Trade tools - $3,000.
  • IRAs, Keoghs, 401k and similar plans
  • Food for 60 days

Federal Exemptions in Bankruptcy

Alternatively New York bankruptcy filers can elect to utilize the Federal exemptions which feature a wild card exemption of up to approximately $12,000. Determining whether a debtor should use the NY state or Federal exemptions, an attorney should analyze the debtor's assets and equity value of real estate to maximize the possible benefits. Our attorneys will provide planning and strategy to make sure that your assets are exempted to the full extent of the law. Often we can concert non-exempt assets to exempt.

Filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean that you will lose all of your property. In fact, many debtors lose little to nothing at all. For husband and wife, most exemptions are even doubled. A lawyer at our firm can talk to you about what exemptions may apply to you and can protect your rights through the bankruptcy process to ensure you receive the full bankruptcy exemptions to which you should be entitled.

Contact a Westchester County bankruptcy attorney for experienced help with your bankruptcy case in the White Plains area.