Here’s What You Need To Know About Exempt Property In A Texas Bankruptcy
Many people mistakenly believe that if they file for bankruptcy, they will lose most or all of their personal property. While some property is liquidated to satisfy debts in most cases, assets that are considered basic necessities or that you have a right to are exempt. Here’s what you should know.
Texas allows you to choose between state or federal exemptions when filing a bankruptcy application, depending on which is most beneficial for your circumstances. The state’s homestead exemption allows you to claim unlimited equity in your home, so long as you don’t live on more than 10 acres in a municipal area and 100 acres in a rural area.
Texas has a generous vehicle exemption policy. You can have one fully exempt vehicle, regardless of its value, per licensed driver that lives in the home.
Personal property exemptions differ for individuals and families; an individual can claim up to $50,000 in personal assets, while families can claim up to $100,000. Some restrictions on specific assets that are not considered exempt are listed in the state’s bankruptcy statutes.
Pension and Retirement Benefits
There are many different types of pensions and retirement benefits that are protected by bankruptcy laws in Texas, including:
- ERISA-qualified benefits for churches or government entities
- Pensions and retirement benefits for:
- Emergency Medical Technicians and First Responders
- Police officers
- State employees
- Municipal employees
- Elected officials
- County and district employees
The state also allows a number of exemptions for certain types of insurance benefits, including:
- Life insurance
- Health insurance
- Accident insurance
- The insurance policy proceeds paid to beneficiaries
- Annuity benefits
- Fraternal society benefits (e.g. Elks, Freemasons, Knights of Columbus)
- Texas employee uniform group insurance benefits
- State University or college staff benefits
- Public school staff benefits
- Other federal exemptions
Should You Work with a Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer?
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, it’s crucial that you consult an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney. DIY forms are more difficult than they appear, and listing your assets incorrectly on the application could result in the loss of property or assets that could have been claimed as exempt.
Contact Sims Bankruptcy Law, PLLC today for more information about filing bankruptcy or to schedule a consultation at 469-751-7467. We have the skills and experience to help you file bankruptcy in a way that offers your assets and personal property maximum protection.