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What kinds of Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions are available?

Although many King County residents may believe so, Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings do not involve the liquidation of all your property. You'll be able to retain much of your personal property -- if not the vast majority of it -- due to the fact that a lot of your property will be exempt.

Bankruptcy is not intended to leave you with no possessions. Indeed, this would be contrary to its purpose of helping you get back on sound financial feet again. As such, through various exemptions, you'll be able to retain the possession you need to do your job, live in your home and go about your daily life.

One of the primary tasks of a skilled bankruptcy attorney is to help you get as much of your property classified as exempt as possible. What follows is a list of potentially exempt property classifications. It's important to note that all of these exemptions will be limited with regard to the value that can be protected:

-- Homestead exemptions: This exemption protects your home from liquidation. Although there is an upper limit on the value of homes that can be protected, many King County residents will be able to keep their homes.

-- Vehicle exemptions: Your car is vital to your ability to get to work and go about your daily life. As such, up to a certain value, you may be able to keep your primary vehicle.

-- Personal property: Things you require for your daily life and even some luxury items will be exempt from the bankruptcy process. These include clothing, furniture, appliances, jewelry and more up to certain limitations.

-- Wildcard exemptions: Some property doesn't fit into a specific category, or it might exceed the value limitations set on other categories. In the state of Washington, you might be able to get this unclassified property to qualify as a wildcard exemption if you make the appropriate legal arguments.

Are you considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and you want to know whether certain property is exempt? A King County bankruptcy attorney can give you guidance on what you can expect during the process.

Source: FindLaw, "Bankruptcy Exemptions: Chapter 7," accessed April 14, 2017

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