Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemption Planning

Richmond, Virginia. Included among the schedule filed by a debtor in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a schedule of “exempt” property. The Bankruptcy Code allows an individual debtor to protect some property from the claims of creditors because it is exempt under federal bankruptcy law or under the laws of the debtor’s home state. Many states, such as Virginia, have taken advantage of a provision in the Bankruptcy Code that permits each state to adopt its own exemption law in place of the federal exemptions. In other jurisdictions, the individual debtor has the option of choosing between a federal package of exemptions or the exemptions available under state law. As such, whether certain property is exempt and may be kept by the debtor is often a question of state law.

Virginia allows a debtor to exempt thousands of dollars in personal property from liquidation by the Chapter 7 trustee. The debtor should consult an attorney to determine the exemptions available in the state where the debtor lives. Ronald Page, PLC has experience representing consumer debtors in chapter 7 liquidations.