Each state has exemption laws which are designed to protect certain property from creditors, as part of the bankruptcy process. You can protect equity in your home, vehicle, or personal property up to certain dollar amounts when you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in Georgia.
Georgia does not allow debtors filing for bankruptcy to use federal exemptions. All exemptions in Georgia are at state level. With that said, debtors can take advantage of federal non-bankruptcy exemptions in certain cases, including federal or military retirement or disability benefits.
If you are a married couple filing together and wish to protect jointly owned property, exemption amounts are doubled. Exemptions on jointly owned property, such as a car is acceptable so long as you can supply proof both parties own the vehicle. There are a number of Georgia exemptions which may apply to property you own.
Georgia Homestead Exemption
There is a $21,500 exemption on real estate or personal property, as long as it is used as your personal residence. You can also use up to $10,000 of your unused homestead exemption to cover other property. These exemptions are per person, so they may be doubled for a married couple filing jointly. However, there may be exceptions.
Other Georgia Exemptions
Property such as vehicles ($5,000), other personal property such as jewelry ($500), and a burial plot if you don’t use all of your homestead exemption are protected by exemptions. You can protect many of your valuables with up to $5,000 of additional exemptions for personal property, including household furnishings, appliances, and clothing. Also available is a “wildcard” exemption that may be used on any type of property of $1,200 plus up to $10,000 if a homestead exemption is unused. Certain types of property, such as a 401(k) account or pension, are 100% exempt in most cases. Other exemptions also exist and may apply to your property
Local Bankruptcy Court
It is important to determine which exemptions are applicable to you. If you are in debt and want to protect your property when filing for bankruptcy in Georgia, you may want to consider consulting a reliable bankruptcy lawyer. Bankruptcy is a complex process and your property may be at risk, if not covered by exemption. How you use exemptions plays an important role in both resolving debt problems and ensuring a better quality of life for you, your spouse, and family.
H. Lehman Franklin P.C. can provide guidance if you have valuable property you would like to keep when you file for bankruptcy in Georgia. We fully understand the process and can take advantage of the exemptions available to you according to state law. Coming through bankruptcy with most, if not all of your property, is possible with the right guidance, depending on the circumstances of your case. We provide consultation to debtors in the state of Georgia. Call our offices today if you have any questions or concerns about exemptions before you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can reach the offices of H. Lehman Franklin P.C. at 912-764-9616, or you can email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.