Bankruptcy

Louisiana Bankruptcy Exemptions

You can use federal supplemental exemptions in addition to the Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions, but the state laws do not allow you to use the federal set of exemptions instead of the state-specified ones. Unlike many other states that allow you to exempt certain personal properties under the wild card category, there are no such provisions in Louisiana. Following is a general list of assets and properties that are exemptible under the state laws. However, in order to get a more accurate picture on where actually you stand and what kind of properties you qualify to exempt depending upon your specific case, you are advised to consult an experienced attorney. The below-mentioned list is only meant to provide you a general idea in this regard.

Wages

Though it is up to the judge to take a final decision regarding how much wages you can exempt, generally, the exemptible wages include thirty times the minimum federal hourly wage every week or seventy-five percent of the disposable weekly earnings, whichever is greater. Low-income debtors usually are very much likely to qualify for higher Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions in this category.

Tools Of Trade

Any asset that you need for can be exempted up to a maximum value of $500 (aggregate total). The exemptible tools of trade may include one firearm, books, instruments, and other tools.

Public Benefits

Even when you go bankrupt under chapter 7 in the state of Louisiana, certain public benefits remain safe. You get full exemptions for Worker’s compensation benefits, Unemployment compensation, Crime victims compensation, public assistance, and aid to disabled, aged and blind.

Personal Property

Following Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions are available in personal properties.

- Spendthrift trusts and disaster relief insurance proceeds for exempt property can be exempted in full.
- You can also exempt wedding and engagement rings for a maximum value of $5000. If the current sale price of those rings is more than $5000, those rings will be sold off and you will be paid that much amount of money in cash.
- In motor vehicles, $7500 of equity is exemptible.
- Other things that can be exempted in this category include monuments, Cemetery plot, sewing machine, iron, washer & dryer, stove, freezer, refrigerator, heating & cooling equipment, household pets, 1 cow, poultry, furniture in your dining room, living room and bedroom, musical instruments, family portraits, clothing, silverware (non-sterling), utensils, glassware, dishes, bedding, military accoutrements, and arms.

Pensions

100% Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions can be availed for pensions received by voting registrars, teachers, state employees, sheriffs, school employees, police officers, parochial bonus or gift payments from employer to employee, firefighters, district attorneys, court clerks, and assessors. Besides that, If you made the contributions over twelve months before filing the bankruptcy petition, you can also get 100% exemptions for Keoghs, IRAs, retirement plans, private and government pensions, and other ERISA qualified benefits.

Miscellaneous

Property that belongs to a minor child can be exempted in the miscellaneous category.

Insurance

If a life insurance policy has been issued within none months of bankruptcy filing, you can get the life insurance avails or proceeds exempted up to a maximum value of $35000. Full Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions are allowed for the following.

- Fraternal benefit society benefits
- Disability, accident or health avails or proceeds
- Group insurance proceeds or policies, and
- Annuity contract avails or proceeds

Homestead

A maximum of $25000 of equity can be exempted in any homestead property that you occupy, but the total area of the property must not exceed 200 acres in farms and five acres in town or city. Unlike many other states, Louisiana does not allow double exemptions for married couples who file their petition for bankruptcy jointly. Besides that, it is also important to note that those who acquired debt because of injury or terminal illness at least twelve months before petition filing can get 10% Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions in homestead property, but the restriction regarding the maximum area remains the same.


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