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Oregon Bankruptcy Using Federal Exemptions

The following information on Oregon bankruptcy using federal exemptions will apply to bankruptcy cases where the individual filing for bankruptcy relief has lived in Oregon for 2 years or more before filing a bankruptcy case.

These bankruptcy exemptions are primarily found in Title 11 of the United State Code (USC) Section 522.

The USC exemptions are applied to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. There is no difference between Chapter 13 bankruptcy exemptions and Chapter 7 exemptions.

Here are explanations about the most common concerns:

Car & Property Exemptions

What is the maximum equity allowed in your car or in your house within the USC bankruptcy exemptions?

11 USC 522(d)(2) protects up to $3,675 equity in an automobile for an individual filer, or $7,350 in equity if a married couple files for bankruptcy relief. 11USC 522(d)(1) protects up to $22,975 in home equity for an individual filer, or $45,950 in home equity for a married couple filing a joint bankruptcy. The homestead exemption also protects equity in a manufactured home or fifth wheel or camper (as long as you live in that vehicle).

Retirement & Pension

What is the maximum amount of retirement or pension benefits that is protected from the bankruptcy court?

All ERISA qualified retirement accounts are 100% exempt from the bankruptcy process.

If you are unsure if your retirement plan is protected in a bankruptcy filing you should discuss this question with an attorney before filing a case.

Bank Accounts and Household Goods

Can I have any money in my bank account or cash on hand when I file my case?

11 USC 522(d)(5) is a wildcard exemption that can be used to protect any personal property the debtor chooses (including adding this exemption on top of an underlying exemption with a lower protection dollar amount). The exemption allows for $1225 in protection for an individual filer, and $2450 in protection for a joint bankruptcy case. This exemption also allows a debtor to add up to $11,500, per debtor, in additional property protection (to the extent that there is an unused portion of the homestead exemption). This exemption is especially valuable to debtors without real property or without equty in their home. This exemption can be rolled on top of a lower ceiling exemption to protect an item (such as an auto at a value of $10,000).

Can I protect my furniture and items in my home if I file?

11 USC 522(d)(3) protects $12,250 in household goods and furnishings, clothing, appliances and books, animals, and musical instruments, for an individual filer, or $24,500 for a married couple filing a joint case. These items can have a maximum value of $575 per item. The value for these items should be assessed as "used" garage sale type value.

Tools of Your Trade

Can I protect my tools that I use for work?

11USC 522(d)(6) protects $2300 in tools of the trade (as long as debtor is active in the business activity).

Pending Claims & Settlements

Can I protect a pending workers' compensation or personal injury claim settlement?

11 USC (d)(11) (D) protects $22,975 in personal injury settlement funds for an individual filer. 11 USC 522(d)(11)(E) protects compensation for loss of future earnings (to the extent necessary for support of the individuals family).

A pending social security disability award should be discussed with an attorney before filing a bankruptcy case. Oregon bankruptcy exemptions must be applied to determine the timing of filing a case with this issue.

Guns & Firearms

Can I protect my guns if I file for bankruptcy?

11 USC (d)(5) wildcard can be used to protect firearms. The value of this exemption will vary between cases depending on if debtor(s) have a home with equity that they have protected.

Other Bankruptcy Exemptions

There are many other exemptions that apply. This is just an example of some of the commonly used statutes. Oregon bankruptcy using federal exemptions are specific and must be applied to your belongings on the date you file a bankruptcy case.

Please discuss specific questions about your personal situation with a qualified attorney, to determine whether or not the items that you own would be protected from a bankruptcy trustee.

Contact Me

If you're in Eugene, Albany or Roseburg, and need advice about Oregon bankruptcy exemptions or filing, feel free to contact me for a free, no-obligation consultation.