Many people who look into Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a way to eliminate their debts are immediately concerned that they will lose all of their assets if they file. This concern is understandable, due to the fact that filing for Chapter 7 involves the liquidation of all of a person’s nonexempt assets in order to pay off creditors. As a result, it is certainly possible that some of your assets may be seized and sold by the bankruptcy trustee handling your case.
The Missouri Bankruptcy Exemptions Are Generous
There is an important word in material above – “nonexempt.” Bankruptcy law seeks to provide people who have gotten in over their heads financially a fresh start while being fair to creditors, not to leave people penniless and destitute. As a result, Missouri law allows bankruptcy filers to exempt certain property from their bankruptcy estate, meaning that it is beyond the reach of the bankruptcy trustee.
There are several categories of assets that can be exempted from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some of the most commonly used include the following:
- Homestead – $15,000 in of your equity in your home
- Vehicles – $3,000 of your equity in your vehicle
- Tools of the Trades – $3,000 of tools or professional books used in your business
- Wedding ring – $1,500 of the value of your wedding ring
- Jewelry – $500 of jewelry
- Wildcard – $600 of any of your property
- Health aids – All of a person’s health aids are exempt
These are just some of the exemptions available under Missouri law. While there are certainly Chapter 7 cases in which the person filing loses assets, it is important to understand that there are many cases in which filers have no nonexempt assets that can be sold to pay creditors. When this is the case, what often occurs is that all of their assets are protected and their dischargeable debts are eliminated, immediately improving their financial situation.
Call the Law Offices of Kenneth P. Carp Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Chapter 7 may be able to help you eliminate your debts and get a fresh financial start. To discuss your situation with a St. Louis bankruptcy attorney, call our office today at 636-947-3600 or send us an email through our online contact form.