Many of us are struggling financially due to the dismal state of the economy. This global situation is often magnified by everyday struggles in life. Financial burdens brought on by medical bills, divorce and job loss become unmanageable hardships. The situations can make filing for bankruptcy the only way for an individual to protect their belongings and eliminate debt, allowing for a second chance at financial stability.
Bankruptcy is a legal declaration of financial insolvency. It is a solution for anyone who has exhausted every avenue to regain control of their finances. But it is not an easy decision to make. Most worry that they will lose their home, car, retirement and other valuable personal belongings.
Although it often requires liquidation of some assets, there are exemptions. It is important to understand the laws concerning bankruptcy in order to fully protect your property. A knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney is the best defense against losing more than you already have. The support of an attorney while filing for bankruptcy is immense.
A legal representative keeps you from being a faceless financial victim to the courts. Your situation is taken seriously and your rights are protected. The laws can be confusing, varying from state to state. Exemptions of required property liquidations are especially important to understand.
Although some of these exceptions are fairly uniform nationally, many are not. An attorney will be familiar with your state's limitations and will ensure you supply all documentation needed to maximize the assets you can keep. Bankruptcy often involves personal property in more than one state. This makes hiring an attorney absolutely critical for a smooth and successful outcome.
An example of varying state exemptions can be seen between California and Georgia. Both states protect tools of trade, unemployment, workers compensation and disability benefits, most life insurance benefits, and qualifying retirement plans. But they differ greatly when determining homestead, auto and personal belonging exemptions. California allows you to keep your home if the equity is less than $75,000.
California increases the allowance for the elderly to $100,000. Georgia, however, has their equity cap set at $5000. These states also have different allowances for vehicles. California limits equity at $1900 and Georgia allows up to $3500.
As for other personal belongings, California allows for the filer to keep one hundred percent of these items, but Georgia has limits. All of these differences reflect the fluid nature of bankruptcy laws across the country. Only a qualified attorney will be able to fully manage them for you.
The fear of losing what personal property you still have only magnifies the financial worries. It does have exemptions that allow for property protection. But these exemptions vary from state to state and can seem vague to the average person. A bankruptcy attorney is your most powerful ally and the knowledge, experience and support they offer is immeasurable.
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