Live Chat
During This Challenging Time

We are open for business and remain dedicated to your case! All those working on-site and remotely are still available to answer your questions. The well-being of our clients and staff are vital, so we will provide updates as the situation progresses.

During This Challenging Time Close

What Can I Keep In Bankruptcy?

January 2, 2010

The fear of losing property stops many people from exploring their options in bankruptcy. The fact is that only four percent of chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are “asset cases,” meaning the bankruptcy trustee receives money or an asset from the debtor. For the other 96% of chapter 7 cases, the debtor continues to pay secured debts, like a house or car, and is able to keep the property.

Determining whether a debtor has an asset case is a simple arithmetic calculation using bankruptcy law exemptions. Bankruptcy exemptions are provided by state law. Every state grants exemptions so that the debtor can retain property, like home equity, a modest vehicle, some personal property, and household furnishings.

The homestead equity exemption can vary greatly from state to state. Some states grant an unlimited homestead exemption to their residents (which the federal law may limit in some circumstances), and other states do not offer much protection. Ohio, for instance, only provides a $5,000 exemption, while Kansas gives its residents an unlimited exemption.

The motor vehicle exemption generally allows the debtor to exempt equity in one (sometimes more) personal vehicle. The exemption can vary greatly by state, usually ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

Every state grants an exemption for basic household furniture.  In addition, most states give an exemption for tools used for work, musical instruments, etc.

Many states provide a wild card exemption to exempt miscellaneous items. This wild card exemption can be used to protect otherwise non-exempt equity in a vehicle or home. Generally it is used to protect cash money in the bank.

Identifying your property, determining its value, and applying your exemptions is the difference between retaining and losing property in a bankruptcy case. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can guide you through this process.

For free legal assistance from a Texas bankruptcy lawyer, contact the law firm of Fears | Nachawati today. You can email us or phone us toll free at 1.866.705.7584.


Use the form below to send us a note, call us at 214.890.0711 or chat with us live. We are eager to help with your legal needs. Please keep in mind that any unsolicited information sent through our website cannot be treated as confidential. Contacting us through this site does not create a representation relationship with Fears Nachawati.

Contact Us


With offices across Texas, and attorneys licensed in Texas, Florida, Arkansas, New Mexico, California, Illinois, District of Columbia, Missouri and Oklahoma, Fears Nachawati is dedicated to attaining the best possible solutions for our clients’ business and personal needs. We strive to be professionals who are creative, empathetic and reliable.

All Areas Served

We Can Help

Contact Fears Nachawati today

Free Consultation

Live Chat (Online Now)