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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 two years or more before filing.

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 And Property Exemptions

What is the maximum equity allowed in your car or 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 And Pension

How much in retirement or pension benefits is protected from the bankruptcy court?

All Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)-qualified retirement accounts are 100 percent 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 $1,225 in protection for an individual filer and $2,450 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 equity 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, 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 $2,300 in tools of the trade (as long as the debtor is active in the business activity).

Pending Claims And 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 individual’s 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 And 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

Many other exemptions apply. These are just examples of 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 the items 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.

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