When facing serious financial problems, one option to consider is filing for a Georgia bankruptcy. Many people have a misconception of what bankruptcy involves—some think that by choosing to file for bankruptcy they will be left with nothing and everything they own will be taken, including their personal items like furniture.
This, however, is not true. Though a Chapter 7 bankruptcy does include liquidating your assets to help pay back your debts, certain property like furniture can be protected through available exemptions.
When you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be required to make an accounting of all your assets. However, this does not mean you should start panicking that everything you list will be taken and sold—there are specific exemptions built into the bankruptcy process. When property is exempted, a bankruptcy trustee cannot take and sell that property to repay debtors.
In Georgia, there is specifically an exemption to cover household furnishings which includes your furniture. Under this exemption, household furnishings are protected or exempt if:
- The value of the item is less than $300
- The total value of all your furnishings is less than $5,000 is you are single
- The total value of all your furnishings is less than $10,000 if you are married
You may still be worried even after seeing this exemption because you may have paid much more than $300 for your furniture when you originally bought it. However, the value of the item is not determined by how much you paid for it. Instead, it is based on the resell value or how much you could get out of the item if you were to resell it online or at a yard sale. As a result, most, if not all, of your furniture will be protected with this exemption.
If you do happen to have a very valuable piece of furniture, perhaps a family heirloom or antique piece, it is still possible to keep that item. This is because Georgia also has a wildcard exemption with can be used toward any item. In the event you have a valuable item you want to keep, this wildcard exemption of $1,200 can be applied to that item.
Talk to a Georgia Bankruptcy Attorney Today
The goal of a Georgia Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to help you reach a more stable place financially, not to take away all of your personal belongings. Furniture is an important part of living comfortably and the idea of having it taken and not having the means to replace it can seem overwhelming. This is why you should speak with a skilled Georgia bankruptcy attorney who understands the ins and outs of how to use available exemptions.
The experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorneys at The Ballard Law Group can use their knowledge of available exemptions to help you keep as much, or even all, of your furniture as possible. Bankruptcy can be a great way to get a fresh financial start, so don’t let misconceptions about the process keep you from filing. To get your bankruptcy questions answered and see how we can help you with your bankruptcy, contact us today for a free consultation by calling (404) 800-9939!