One of the biggest fears that prospective bankruptcy filers have is the worry that they will lose all of their property. You have likely worked hard for many years to acquire the things you own, from the house you live in, to the car you drive each day. Therefore, it can be very demoralizing to think that you may lose all of these things.
The good news is that in theory, you do not need to give up any property to file for bankruptcy. By filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will enter a repayment plan, which means that you will not need to liquidate your existing property to successfully rid yourself of your acquired debt.
However, those who want to reap the benefits of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will need to liquidize many of their assets. The assets you will be able to keep depend on state or federal law. In Washington state, debtors are given the option of whether they want to choose federal or state bankruptcy exemptions.
What are the Washington state bankruptcy exemptions?
In Washington, bankruptcy filers can benefit through joint filings. This means that if two spouses jointly file, they will be able to double the value of assets they can keep. This means that you may be able to keep both of your cars, for example.
You must list all assets that you are keeping by listing them in the official bankruptcy forms. This can be tedious and time-consuming to complete.
If you are considering bankruptcy in Washington, it is important that you understand the difference between federal and state bankruptcy exemption rules.