New and Improved New York Bankruptcy Exemptions

As of January 2011, the bankruptcy exemptions in New York changed for your benefit. Firstly, you can now choose between the New York and federal bankruptcy laws. In addition, New York’s bankruptcy exemption amounts were significantly increased. In other words, you have new and improved bankruptcy options available.

The changes affect anyone who files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The following is an outline of the new bankruptcy exemptions, specifically for Queens residents:

  • Residence-related exemptions – Previous homestead exemptions were limited to $50,000 in equity for a residence. They were elevated to $150,000 for anyone living in Queens County or twice that where a husband and wife own a house together.
  • Car-related exemptions – Current exemptions that apply to motor vehicles allow for up to $4,000 in equity to be exempt, up from the previous limit of $2,400.  This is the value above the loan balance.  If you have a car with a loan, you can keep it so long as you continue to make the loan payments.
  • Car exemptions for the disabled – This is a new category, allowing disabled people to claim exemptions of up to $10,000 for the vehicles they use.
  • Art and jewelry exemptions – The value of art and jewelry that is exempt has increased from $35 to $1,000, which can help protect engagement rings from seizure and liquidation. Wedding rings are still exempt.
  • Business-related tools – The bankruptcy exemption amount for business-related tools has been raised from $600 to $3,000.
  • Clothing, furniture, household items and cash (including bank account funds) – The bankruptcy exemptions for this asset type has doubled, rising from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Cash exemption – Over $10,000 in cash assets can be retained.

These new, higher limitations help debtors continue to live comfortably while addressing financial difficulty. I know the very latest in policy decisions and can advise you regarding the best way to file. With simple, clear, and timely advice, I will help you make the best long-term financial decisions and get the best deal. Call (718) 544-0500 for a free initial consultation regarding your bankruptcy case.

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