A promulgated misconception about bankruptcy law is that people lose all their property when they file for bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy laws were drafted in such a way that a person can file for bankruptcy and still protect their property. The property you can keep from being liquidated is called exempt property.
You are allowed to exempt (protect) property up to the value allowed by the exemption law. If the property that you own is valued at less than or equal to the amount of the exemption, then the property is completely exempt and the bankruptcy trustee cannot liquidate it. If the property’s value exceeds the exemption’s allowed amount, then the nonexempt portion is vulnerable to the trustee and creditors.
In Maryland, if a married couple is filing jointly then each spouse may claim the full value of the full amount of each exemption. The following is a list of the most commonly used bankruptcy exemptions in Maryland. Bankruptcy exemptions are updated on a regular basis. You can find the rest of the Maryland bankruptcy exemptions in the Code of Maryland.
Maryland Bankruptcy Exemptions:
Owner occupied residential property is protected up to $22,975. 11–504 (f)(1)(i)(2).
Tools of Trade
Debtor’s aggregate interest protected up to $5,000 in value. 11–504 (b)(1).
Household furnishings; household goods; wearing apparel
Debtor’s aggregate interest protected up to $1,000. 11-504(b)(4).
This exemption could be used to exempt cash or property of any kind equivalent in value to $6,000. This exemption could be used to exempt the equity in an automobile or bank accounts. 11-504(b)(5).
Obtain a consultation from an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you file a bankruptcy case. A bankruptcy attorney will advice you on bankruptcy exemptions and on how to value your property appropriately.
A bankruptcy attorney could help you file for bankruptcy and protect your assets. Ready learn more about the bankruptcy process? Call 202-445-4775 or contact us for a consultation.