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Central PA Office

4076 Market Street
Suite 209

Camp Hill, PA 17011

(717) 975-0500


Western PA Office

1149 Municipal Drive
PO Box 663

Duncansville, PA 16635

(814) 693-0500


(888) 249-9660 (toll free)

(814) 693-0501 (fax)













What Property Can I Keep?

In a Chapter 7 case, you can keep all property which the law says is “exempt” from the claims of creditors.  You can choose your exemptions under PA law or federal law.  In most cases, the federal exemptions are better.  The amounts are adjusted each year and for 2008, for a single individual, they are:

The amounts of the exemptions are double when a married couple files together.

In determining whether property is exempt, you must keep a few things in mind.  The value of property is not the amount you paid for it, but it’s “yard sale value,” unless it was a recent purchase.  This may be a lot less than what you paid for the item or what it would cost to buy a replacement.

You also only need to look at the equity in your property if you are intending to keep it.  This means that you count your exemptions against the full value minus any money that you owe on mortgages or liens.  For example, if you own a $50,000 house with a $40,000 mortgage, you count your exemptions against the $10,000 which is your equity if you sell it.

While your exemptions allow you to keep property even in a Chapter 7, your exemptions do not keep your mortgage company or car loan company from taking the property if you are behind in your payments.  In a Chapter 13, you can keep all of your property if your plan meets the requirements of the BK law.  In most cases, you will have to pay the mortgages or liens as you would if you didn’t file BK.

Call Lisa today to schedule your bankruptcy appointment with Cohen Law Offices or email Lisa at Cohen Law Offices. Or, if you prefer, click the red appointment widget to the right ---> to schedule an appointment yourself.



Member, National Assoc of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys

Member, Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association