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PROPERTY EXEMPT FROM BANKRUPTCY
In bankruptcy, an exemption is an amount of money or an asset that is not part of the bankruptcy estate. In other words, exemptions allow you to keep these items or amounts after bankruptcy. Federal law provides a variety of exemptions. 11 USCA §522 et seq. (West 2010). States have their own exemptions, and many states allow you to choose between the federal exemptions and the state exemptions. However, Illinois has “opted out” of the federal exemptions and, therefore, Illinois residents wishing to declare bankruptcy can only use those exemptions provided under Illinois law. In re Swiontek, 376 B.R. 851 (N.D. Ill. 2007). Among other items and amounts, Illinois law currently exempts certain clothing, a $4,000 “wildcard” amount for personal property including cash and bank accounts, $2,400 value in any one motor vehicle per person, $1,500 value in tools of a trade, certain life insurance proceeds, social security benefits, veteran’s benefits, unemployment payments, alimony and child support payments, retirement benefits, wrongful death payments, personal injury settlements and/or judgments up to $15,000, and other items. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-1001, et seq. Additionally, Illinois law provides a “homestead exemption,” which includes farms, lots, buildings, condominiums, co-ops or mobile homes up to $15,000. 735 ILCS 5/12-901 (West 2010). In certain circumstances, this homestead exemption may be claimed by the spouse or a child of a deceased owner. 735 ILCS 5/12-902 (West 2010).
These are complicated and confusing laws, and they are even more difficult to understand when you are struggling to cope with emotional and financial turmoil. If you need help, please contact the attorneys at Bruning & Associates at (815) 455-3000.
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WE ARE A DEBT RELIEF AGENCY
WE MAY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU OBTAIN DEBT RELIEF THROUGH BANKRUPTCY UNDER THE BANKRUPTCY CODE