Exemptions allow debtors to keep assets despite filing bankruptcy

| January 22, 2018

There is no question filing personal bankruptcy is daunting. Understandably, debtors have a multitude of questions, such as how filing might impact their credit score, what happens to the debts included in bankruptcy paperwork and what it means for debts to be discharged.
Another concern for people considering bankruptcy is what happens to their belongings and assets, if they do file bankruptcy.
Fortunately, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and state laws address these concerns, so debtors filing for bankruptcy protections need not worry that they will have to forfeit everything they own because they filed for bankruptcy.
These protections are called exemptions. While exemptions differ from state to state and even under Federal Bankruptcy law, they are all designed to allow debtors to keep personal property up to a certain monetary value.
Georgia is one state that does not allow debtors to choose between Federal and state exemptions as only Georgia laws apply. However, under current Georgia law, when a married couple files bankruptcy, they are entitled to double the exemption allowances.
For example, Georgia law allows a single debtor to protect up to $21,500 of value in real estate or personal property, including a co-op, in which the debtor or their dependent resides. However, if both spouses file bankruptcy together, that exemption is doubled.
The experienced attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are well-versed in Georgia exemption laws and how to best utilize them so our clients retain as much of their assets as possible despite filing bankruptcy.

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