Bankruptcy laws differ from state to state, but there are still federal protections in place. In general, you can keep your basic living essentials, new belongings, your house, and one car when you file for bankruptcy in Louisiana.
Belongings after the bankruptcy
You can keep most belongings that you acquire after filing for bankruptcy. However, inheritances, life insurance benefits, and property settlements aren’t safe until 180 days after the bankruptcy. In some situations, the money or property is exempt, but you will need to check the law.
Basic living essentials
You get to keep basic living essentials, such as clothing, furniture, cookware, appliances, and HVAC systems. However, valuable items such as designer clothing and expensive artwork aren’t exempt. Items that you need for your career are also safe.
Wages and benefits
Your earned and unpaid wages are typically exempt up to 75%. Workers’ compensation benefits are exempt. You can also keep crime victims’ compensation, unemployment benefits, AFDC benefits, alimony that you need for supporting yourself, and aid to the blind.
In most situations, you are able to keep one car. If you have more than one car, you may have to liquidate one in bankruptcy. Loans on a vehicle are still valid during bankruptcy. Lenders could repossess it if you default on the payments.
If you are current on your payments, you can usually keep your house. In situations where a person is behind on payments, the lender might liquidate the asset. Under the law, you could keep up to $35,000 of the home’s value. There are a few size limitations. City real estate can’t exceed five acres, and rural real estate is exempt up to 200 acres.
Federal law protects certain exemptions during bankruptcy to help prevent you from losing everything you own. There are also some state protections in place. It’s helpful to know what you can keep in bankruptcy to plan accordingly.