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How to Protect Your Property During NJ Bankruptcy

On Behalf of Veitengruber Law | Feb 11,2021

If you have decided to file for NJ bankruptcy, you are no doubt anxious to find out which of your assets will be impacted. Knowing what personal property can be protected, which personal property is the most important to protect, and how to protect that property is very important early on in the process. There are multiple New Jersey and federally mandated bankruptcy exemptions you can use to protect your personal property. If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, here is what you need to know about exemptions. Before you even file for bankruptcy, you need to prepare yourself to protect your valuable assets. For starters, the money in your bank account is not covered under a NJ or federal bankruptcy exemption. If you have any money in your bank account, you should invest it in assets that are exempt. Before you withdraw this money, however, it is important to consult with a New Jersey bankruptcy attorney to ensure you are doing it legally and making smart choices for your situation. When you actually go to file for bankruptcy, you will need to choose which exemptions you are using: NJ state exemptions OR federal exemptions. You must choose one or the other and you cannot use exemptions from both federal and state simultaneously. NJ state exemptions include: - Disability and health benefits (can also include some death benefits) - Pensions and retirement plans - Higher education savings plans - Clothing - Personal property up to $1,000.00 - Public benefits (workers comp, unemployment, etc.) - Wages Unlike some states, NJ residents are allowed to opt for federal exemptions instead. These include: - Up to $25,150 of items in your residence (you can use $12,575 of this towards other assets if unused on household items) - Spousal support and child support - Pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s - Jewelry up to $1,700 - Vehicles up to $4,000 - Public benefits - Business items up to $2,525 - One wildcard exemption up to $1,325 Protecting your property from creditors is an important part of the bankruptcy process. Deciding which set of exemptions to go with (state or federal) is best made in collaboration with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Exemptions can be complicated. The choice one exemption over another can have serious repercussions down the road. Each bankruptcy case is unique and the right path for one individual may not be the best way forward for another. The specific aspects of your situation will determine which exemptions will work best for you. The best way to protect your assets is to start your pre-bankruptcy planning with a trustworthy NJ bankruptcy attorney. Veitengruber Law can help you decide which exemptions work best for your specific circumstances. Protecting your valued assets and important personal belongings from the beginning can help guarantee you the results you're looking for.


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