March 31, 2014 Bankruptcy No Comments

property and bankruptcyBankruptcy is a good solution for many Americans who are facing financial struggles. However, many people hesitate looking into bankruptcy because they do not fully understand the process. In fact, many people fear that if they file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they will lose a lot of their hard-earned and cherished property to help pay their creditors. However, Missouri law understands how much residents value their property and, therefore, allows for certain property “exemptions” in the bankruptcy process. Bankruptcy exemptions under the law can get complicated, so you want to make sure you have the help of an experienced Missouri bankruptcy attorney to help you protect as much of your property as possible.

Missouri does not follow federal bankruptcy exemptions, so residents must look to the state laws to identify which property is protected. The following are some examples of bankruptcy exemptions in Missouri:

Residential property—Missouri law allows you to keep up to $15,000 of equity in your home, or up to $5,000 of equity in a mobile home.

Car—You may keep up to $3,000 of equity in your motor vehicle.

Personal property—Under the law, you may keep health aids, health savings accounts, and burial grounds. You may keep up to $1,500 of value of a wedding or engagement ring and up to $500 of value in other jewelry. You may also keep up to $3,000 in clothing, furniture, appliances, instruments, animals, and books.

Insurance benefits—Teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public and state employees may keep their life insurance benefits. Other life insurance holders may keep up to $5,000 of dividends, interest, or cash value.

Other benefits—Other protected public benefits include workers’ compensation, Social Security, unemployment, veterans’ benefits, disability, crime victims’ compensation, and public assistance. You may also keep up to $750 per month in alimony or child support.

Business tools—Up to $3,000 worth of tools, books, or other implements used in your trade or business are protected.

Wild card—Each member of the family may keep an additional amount of property not otherwise specified under the law. For example, $1,250 for the head of household, $600 for non-head of household, and $300 for each child.

Missouri bankruptcy exemptions can be complex. If you are considering bankruptcy, you should contact the Law Office of Kenneth P. Carp at 636-947-3600 for assistance from an experienced bankruptcy lawyer today.

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