Understanding Bankruptcy Exemptions in Texas
A variety of issues such as student loans, or medical and tax debt can result in bankruptcy. Regardless of the reason, one of the most prominent myths is that individuals who apply for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy risk losing all of their property to their creditor.
Fortunately, residents of Texas benefit from the state’s gracious and comprehensive exemption laws concerning bankruptcy. Under the law, individuals have bankruptcy exemptions not included in the estate. The debtor then keeps these exempt properties. Since Tex. Prop. Code § 42.001(a)(1) and Tex.Prop. Code § 42.001(a)(2) are complicated pieces of legislation, some individuals hire bankruptcy attorneys to help them determine all of their bankruptcy exemptions.
What Does Texas Exempt?
While filing for bankruptcy, it’s vital for the debtor to identify the assets that he or she would like to discount from the bankruptcy estate. If the debtor fails to identify each asset they want to keep, the creditor has the right to acquire the asset for liquidation. Though not all assets will be actually exempt as per the law, listing them during the filing process will ensure that the bankruptcy trustee cannot claim them should they fit the exemption statutes. Expert bankruptcy attorneys in Dallas have had years of experience guiding individuals through the claims process.
Bankruptcy exemptions in Texas can include:
- Motor vehicles. One motor vehicle per person in the family can be excluded to fulfill basic travel needs.
- Books. This includes the Bible and books of other religious writings. Burial plots and health aids are counted as well.
- Furnishings and family heirlooms. Clothing and jewelry up to 24% of $30,000 total or $60,000 for the head of the family can be excluded.
- Financial Earnings such as earned but unpaid wages, pensions, IRAs, retirement benefits, and other investments.
- Benefits such as unemployment compensation and medical assistance.
Though this is not a comprehensive list of all bankruptcy exemptions, it should give you a solid idea of where to begin claiming exemptions during the filing process. Trusting a Dallas bankruptcy attorney helps some individuals discover all of their assets that are qualified for exemption. Should the bankruptcy trustee begin liquidating assets to pay off the amount owed, exemptions that a bankruptcy attorney helped prepare stand a better chance of remaining with the debtor.
Bankruptcy exemptions in Texas continue to be very generous and an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you maximize available exemptions. For instance, the unlimited homestead exemption is an incredible exclusion that is subject to a few restrictions. Continuously working to understand bankruptcy exemptions in Texas will help you keep more of your properties and assets.