In a bankruptcy, how do you know what exemptions can be accepted?

UPDATED: Feb 24, 2012

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In a bankruptcy, how do you know what exemptions can be accepted?

I amended my bankruptcy because the trustee was taking my tax returns. The trustee is rejecting my exemptions.

Asked on February 24, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There are two sets of exemptions.  One set is the federal exemptions and the other is the state exemptions.  You cannot combine federal and state exemptions.  You have to select either all federal or all state exemptions for your bankruptcy.  Choose either federal or state exemptions depending on which set of exemptions provides the broadest coverage for your particular situation as the exemption amounts vary whether it is a state exemption or a federal exemption.

Once you have selected either federal or state, then you use the categories that apply to your particular situation.  For example, if you own a home, select the homestead exemption.  If you own a car, select the automobile exemption.  Select exemptions for household goods and furnishings, clothing, etc. depending on which exemptions are applicable to your situation.  There is also a catch-all exemption which can be used towards unused amounts of various exemptions. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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