When someone files for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most of their assets are liquidated and the proceeds given to the creditors to satisfy the filer’s obligations. However, Georgia, like all other states has a set of exemption laws that allow someone who files for bankruptcy to keep certain property. Unlike other states, however, Georgia does not allow filers to use the federal exemptions. While this simplifies things to an extent, there are some situations in which the federal exemption would be more beneficial to filers.

Several common exemptions are listed below. One thing to keep in mind before getting into the specific exemptions is that these amounts are per person. Therefore, a couple who files bankruptcy can double their exemptions by having each spouse claim the fill deduction.

  • $21,500 of value in real estate under the homestead exemption (with up to $10,000 of the unused exemption can be used for any other personal property)
  • $5,000 of value under the motor vehicle exemption
  • $1,200 wildcard exemption that can be used for any property
  • $1,500 for various “tools of the trade”
  • $500 of value in jewelry
  • $5,000 of value in animals, crops, clothing, appliances, books, furnishings, household goods, and musical instruments (with a maximum of $300 per item)
  • $10,000 in personal injury damages

Of course, there are many other exemptions, with these being only the most commonly used. Additionally, when filing for bankruptcy, a person’s public benefits, spousal support payments, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation and veteran’s benefits are all unaffected by either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, and have questions about how to proceed, contact a bankruptcy attorney for immediate assistance.

Other Frequently Asked Questions: