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Exemptions – What Can I Keep If I File Bankruptcy?

What Can I Keep If I File Bankruptcy?


Bankruptcy is intended to remove or restructure unmanageable debt while allowing you to continue to provide for yourself and your family.  Many people are misguided that if they file bankruptcy, they will lose all their assets / properties. The truth is, bankruptcy laws are designed to give people in financial hardship a second chance. They seek to help, not punish, debtors.


Exemptions are those assets that you are allowed to keep out of consideration for liquidation or seizure by creditors when you file bankruptcy. The exemptions (the bankruptcy law which protects your assets) are very complicated and you should consult an attorney to maximize the protection that you are allowed under Bankruptcy Law.


Once your bankruptcy case if filed, the automatic stay goes into effect, preventing creditors from collecting debts, and filing lawsuits.  Here are the most important things to know when filing a bankruptcy:


  • Most people do not lose any of their belongings in bankruptcy. The end goal of bankruptcy is to get you back on your feet financially. Therefore, your basic necessities are protected in bankruptcy, so as to help you re-establish yourself.
  • The equity in your home and most of your personal belongings will, in all likelihood, be protected in bankruptcy with the applicable exemptions provided.


Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Exemptions in California


The laws protecting individual’s properties from creditors and the bankruptcy trustees are called exemptions. Selecting which bankruptcy exemptions to use and how to use them is one of the most challenging parts of filing for bankruptcy.  Many assets are considered exempt under bankruptcy law.  It is important to understand that many of the exemptions are subject to value caps. The laws governing exemptions are complex and frequently change.


Every bankruptcy case is unique, but generally, you are allowed to keep the following:


  • Home
  • Household goods and furnishings
  • Car, Boats, Motorcycle
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Personal belongings
  • Pension
  • Social Security benefits
  • 401K account
  • Tools of the trade
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Welfare benefits
  • Other real estate, including rental property


Let Our Experience Be Your Guide


To ensure you are getting the most complete and current information, we can help you!. Lozano Law Offices welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and discuss with you detailed information that applies to your situation.  We are committed to helping our clients retain as many assets as possible while reaping the benefits of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Call us at (510) 538-7188 for a  free initial consultation, or you may contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment