Is Any Property Exempt When I File a Chapter 7 Liquidation?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy. As the name would suggest, if you file for this type of bankruptcy, you might be required to turn your property over to a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee will liquidate the property and the proceeds would be used to pay back your debts. Some types of debts are considered to be priority debts so these would be paid first. Child support and alimony are two of the priority debts.

There are bankruptcy exemptions, so you don’t necessarily have to give everything that you own to the trustee. The exact nature of the exemptions will vary state-by-state, and there are also federal bankruptcy exemptions. We have bankruptcy law offices in Portland, Eugene, Salem, Medford, and several other cities in the state of Oregon. You have the option of choosing the federal exemptions, or the Oregon State exemptions. However, you cannot mix and match to suit your purposes – it’s either one or the other.

If you use the Oregon exemptions, $40,000 worth of equity in property that is eligible for a homestead exemption will exempt for bankruptcy purposes ($50,000 for a married couple). If have received compensation because you have been a victim of a crime, the funds would be exempt, and up to $10,000 in bodily injury damages can be retained. If you have tools or equipment that you use to make a living, the exemption is $5,000.

In addition to our locations in Oregon, we have an office that serves the Tri-Cities in the state of Washington, and we have a Vancouver location as well. The state exemptions are quite a bit different in Washington. The home equity exemption is $125,000, which is a big improvement over Oregon. You can see a complete list of the exemptions on the Washington State Legislature website.

We are here for you if you would like to discuss a potential bankruptcy filing with a licensed attorney. Our firm offers free, no obligation case evaluations, and you can request an appointment if you send us a message through this page: free bankruptcy consultation.

Do I Keep My Property in a Chapter 7?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy. Speaking in a very general sense, this means that your property is turned over to a trustee when you file for this type of bankruptcy. The trustee is required to liquidate the property and the proceeds will be used to pay back as much of your debt as possible. This may sound like a rather unfavorable arrangement, but it is not as bad as it sounds, because most or all of your property is considered to be exempt. This means that you won’t have to surrender this property to the bankruptcy trustee.

If you own your own home, it is probably your most important possession. We practice law in the state of Oregon, with offices in Portland, Eugene, Salem, Medford, and several other cities. In Oregon, up to $50,000 in equity in your home including a mobile home is exempt when you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  We also have offices in the state of Washington serving Vancouver and Tri-Cities residents.  In Washington, the exemption for homeowners is $125,000.

Your home is not the only type of property that will be exempt when you file for Chapter 7 in Oregon.  Money you received from alimony and child support payments, social security or pensions is all exempt. There are additional exemptions if you receive a settlement for a bodily injury claim.  In addition, if you receive compensation to account for a loss of future earnings, you will not be required to surrender it to the trustee. There are additional exemptions for cars, furniture, personal items, guns and other items.  If a person does not need to use the State homestead exemption (see above), then Federal exemptions can be used which include a “wildcard” exemption in the amount of $13,100 which can be used to protect any asset.

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We understand the fact that it can be disconcerting to speak about sensitive financial matters with an attorney that you just met. The members of our team have been assisting people for many years, and we chose this area of the law because we sincerely want to help others. When you engage our services, you will speak with a friendly, down to earth bankruptcy attorney who will answer all of your questions and help you make the right decisions. If you would like to set up a complimentary case evaluation, send us a message through the following link:  bankruptcy lawyer.

Are All Debts Discharged in Chapter 7?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a good choice for people who are looking for a fresh start. Many debts can be discharged through a Chapter 7 filing, but there are some types of debts that are not dischargeable. Before we get into the distinctions, we should explain a bit about Chapter 7 eligibility. To be able to file for this type of bankruptcy a person needs to pass a means test.

We have offices in Medford, Eugene, Portland, and numerous other cities in Oregon. If you live in the Beaver State, and your income is less than the median, you will pass this means test, and you would be able to qualify for a Chapter 7 filing. Even if you do not pass the test on this level, you may still be able to qualify if you have very limited disposable income after to your essential responsibilities are met.

Secured debts are debts that have a lien on property that was purchased with credit.  If a person wants to keep collateral during a chapter 7, that person needs to stay current on the payments or the lender will be able to repossess the collateral. Other debts that survive bankruptcy are spousal support and child support, student loans and most taxes.  Some taxes can be eliminate in bankruptcy and an experienced bankruptcy attorney can analyze a person’s taxes to determine if they can be discharged.

Debts that can be discharged include, but are not limited to, unsecured debts like credit card balances, health care bills, accounts that have been turned over to collection agencies, personal loans, utility bills that are overdue, and checks written on insufficient funds (assuming there was no criminal intent) and business debts.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Right Now!

If you would like to discuss your financial situation with a licensed attorney, we would be more than glad to help. We offer free, no obligation case evaluations, and we assure you that you will feel completely comfortable from the first moment that you walk through our doors. To request an appointment, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Portland, OR bankruptcy lawyer.