Utilizing Federal or State Bankruptcy Exemptions in Texas
Bankruptcy- Well I’m in Texas, in the state of Texas, we have two schemes of bankruptcy exemptions: federal and state. You can pick between either/or. Well, I’m not completely familiar with all the exemptions in all the states. I can tell you that Texas has a very generous set of exemptions. So, what you can expect to keep is usually what you have, what you own, already. Bankruptcy is a “fresh start” not a head start. In general, most of your possessions (Home, Vehicle, Furniture, Retirement Accounts) have bankruptcy exemptions to protect them from your creditors. But if you have, a pleasure boat, ATV’s and other toys of that nature, the bankruptcy exemptions do offer some protection but in some cases, these extra possessions will be treated differently in bankruptcy.
It’s very rare to have to do something, it’s pretty rare if you’re in this type of situation. “Oh yeah, I forgot, I’ve got a stock account Edward Jones liquid money market,” something that you can just go in and access at any time if you have that just sitting there for $20,000, then it does happen for some reason, but we catch it ahead of time and we talk about, Hey, you have this portion of the property that you can’t keep, and then we’ll just discuss what you can do with it before you file or if you have to turn it over. But in most cases, it’s business as usual, as it was before the bankruptcy just without the debt.