Posted on Mar 23, 2016

One thing that is a concern for anyone filing bankruptcy is whether a trustee will take away and sell their possessions. This is because, if you are filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee assigned to your case will be looking at your assets with an eye towards selling them in an effort to pay creditors.

A sale of assets rarely happens in New Jersey, though, because the law provides for you to retain assets up to a certain value. These are called “exemptions,” and they allow you to protect all the value of an asset, or up to a certain cap. These caps are adjusted every 3 years, and were last increased in 2013.

The Numbers Are Going Up!

The good news here is that those protections of assets, called exemptions, increase this year on April 1. The adjustment isn’t huge, but for some it could make the difference between keeping an asset and losing it. Here are the changes:

Principal Residence (Homestead Exemption) $22,975 to $23,675
Motor Vehicle (Applied only once by one debtor to one vehicle) $3,675 to $3,775
Household Goods and Furnishings, Clothing $12,250 to $12,625
Furs and Jewelry $1,550 to $1,600
Tools of trade (books & equipment) $2,300 to $2,375
Cash Value of Life Insurance Policy $12,250 to $12,625
Pain and Suffering Damages from Personal Injury Action $22,975 to 
"Wildcard" Exemption (Can Be Applied to Anything) $11,500 to $11,850

Bear in mind that each debtor in a bankruptcy can use the full exemptions, which effectively doubles the maximum amounts for married couples applying exemptions to jointly owned property.

Anyone considering bankruptcy here in New Jersey and fearful that they might lose a prize possession to liquidation should take a close look at these numbers. They could make all the difference in the world!

I Can Help!

If you live in the Gloucester County, New Jersey area and are considering filing bankruptcy, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your case.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.

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Steven J. Richardson
Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.


Richardson Law Offices