Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions -ORS
The following information on Oregon bankruptcy 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. Federal USC exemptions now available, click here for more information
These bankruptcy exemptions are primarily found in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS).
The ORS exemptions are applied to a 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 Oregon bankruptcy exemptions?
ORS Section 18.345(1)(d) protects up to $3,000 equity in an automobile for an individual filer, or $6000 in equity if a married couple files for bankruptcy relief. ORS Sections 18.395 and 18.402 protect up to $40,000 in home equity for an individual filer, or $50,000 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?
ORS Sections 18.358 and 238.445 protect 100% of all ERISA-qualified retirement plans and all federal and public pension benefits. These statutes protect your retirement plans if you are a union member, public employee, federal employee. They also protect 401(k) accounts, 403(b) accounts and IRA accounts.
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?
ORS Section 18.345(1)(o) protects $400 in cash for an individual filer, or $800 in cash for a married couple filing a joint case. You are unable to protect any stock or bond accounts that are not retirement related.
Can I protect my furniture and items in my home if I file?
ORS Section 18.345(1)(f) protects $3000 in household goods and furnishings for an individual filer or for a married couple filing a joint case. 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?
ORS Section 18.345(1)(c) protects $5000 in tools of the trade for an individual filer, or $10,000 in tools of the trade for a married couple, filing a joint case (as long as both parties are active in the business activity).
Pending Claims & Settlements
Can I protect a pending workers' compensation or personal injury claim settlement?
ORS Section 18.345(1)(k) protects $10,000 in personal injury settlement funds for an individual filer, or $20,000 in personal injury settlement funds for a married couple filing a joint case. ORS Section 18.345(1)(L) protects $10,000 in compensation for loss of future earnings (to the extent necessary for support of the individuals family) for an individual filer, or $20,000 compensation for loss of future earnings (to the extent necessary for support of the individuals family) for a married couple filing a joint case. ORS Sections 656.234 and 18.348(2) protects $7,500 in workers compensation award for an individual filer, or $15,000 in workers compensation award for a married couple filing a joint case.
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?
ORS Section 18.362 protects $1000 in value (for up to 2 guns) for a long gun (rifle or shotgun) and a short gun (pistol) for an individual filer, or $2,000 in value (for up to 4 guns) for a married couple filing a joint case. The statute protects 2 guns per person filing, up to the value limits listed above.
Other Bankruptcy Exemptions
There are many other exemptions that apply. This is just an example of some of the commonly used statutes. Oregon bankruptcy 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.
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.