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Washington D.C. Bankruptcy Exemptions

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 in a bankruptcy proceeding is called exempt property.

In Washington D.C. there are two options for those who would like to file for bankruptcy and exempt (protect) their property.  In D.C. you have the option of choosing between the federal bankruptcy exemptions or the District of Columbia exemptions. You cannot mix and match the exemptions, you must select one. Which one you choose should be a well-thought-out decision to maximize protection of your property.

The following is a list of the most commonly used bankruptcy exemptions in Washington D.C. Exemptions are updated on a regular basis. You can find the Washington D.C. exemptions in the Code of the District of Columbia.

Homestead

100% of the debtor’s aggregate interest in real property used as the primary residence of the debtor. 15-501(a)(14).

Motor vehicle

One vehicle’s equity is protected up to $2575 in value. 15-501(a)(1).

Tools of Trade

Debtor’s aggregate interest in any implements or tools of trade is protected up to $1,625 in value. 15-501(a)(4).

Debtor’s library, office furniture, and implements is protected up to $300 in value 15-501(a)(3).

Household furnishings; household goods; wearing apparel

House hold goods are protected up to $8,625 in aggregate value, and up to $425 for any individual item. 15-501(a)(2).

Debtor’s family pictures; and all the family library, up to $400 in value. 15-501(a)(8).

Benefits

 The debtor’s right to receive social security benefits, veteran’s benefit; a disability, illness, or unemployment benefit. 15-501(a)(7).

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

 

The following is a list of the most commonly used federal bankruptcy exemptions in Washington D.C. Exemptions are updated on a regular basis. You can find the federal exemptions in the Bankruptcy Code.

Homestead

Debtor’s equity in real property used as the primary residence is protected up to $22,975.

Motor Vehicle

One vehicle’s equity is protected up to $3,675.

Household furnishings; household goods; wearing apparel

House hold goods are protected up to $12,250 in aggregate value, and up to $575 for any individual item.

Tools of Trade

Debtor’s aggregate interest in any implements or tools of trade is protected up to $12,250.

 Wild Card Exemption

You can apply the federal wildcard exemption to any property you own.  At the moment you are allowed $1,225 plus $11,500 of whatever portion of the homestead exemption you do not use to exempt any type of property.

 

Obtain a consultation from an experienced bankruptcy attorney before you file a Bankruptcy case. A bankruptcy attorney could help you file for bankruptcy and protect your assets. Ready learn more about the bankruptcy process? Call 202-445-4775 for consultation here