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Bankruptcy A -Z – N is for Non-exempt Property

by Dorota Trzeciecka on February 5th, 2012

In bankruptcy, there are two types of property: exempt and non-exempt.  Property is everything that you own.  Exempt property is the property you’re allowed to keep when you file bankruptcy.  The amount of what you can keep is limited by state and federal statutes.  If you live in Florida, you have to rely on state exemptions, except as specified by Florida Statute 222.201, which allows you to keep, among others, public assistance benefits, like social security, unemployment, veteran’s, and disability benefits.  The remainder of your property is the non-exempt property.  Typically, the following property would be considered non-exempt, provided you have equity in it:

  • expensive musical instruments
  • expensive jewelry
  • computers, ipads, cameras, digital recorders
  • cash in bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and other securities in brokerage accounts
  • coin, stamp, and other collections
  • valuable family heirlooms
  • real estate investment property
  • boats, planes, motorcycles, antique cars, off road vehicles
  • vacation homes

You have to either buy it outright from a bankruptcy trustee, if you really want to keep it (the trustee will make you an offer),  swap it in exchange for exempt property, or sell it before filing, and, with those funds, buy an asset that is exempt.

Chapter 13 may be another option for you to keep the non-exempt property.  Chapter 13 allows you to keep your non-exempt property regardless of its value.  But, you will be required to propose a plan that pays your unsecured creditors an amount that is equal to at least the value of your non-exempt property.

If you have a lot of non-exempt property, you should consult a bankruptcy attorney who can help you determine how much of your property is exempt, and plan for the ways you can keep your non-exempt property.

Here are more bankruptcy terms beginning with letter N:

Naked by Jay S. Fleischman

Never  by William Balena

No Asset by Mitchell Goldstein

No Asset Report by Stuart T. Ing

Nondischargeable by Cathy Moran

Nondischargeable by Mitchell Goldstein

Nondischargeable Debt by Ryan D. Caldwell

Notice by Bob Doig