Bankruptcy Exemptions


Bankruptcy Exemptions Attorney in Portland, Oregon


Filing bankruptcy is a legal option for people to get out of debt and gain financial freedom once again. There are different types of bankruptcy, each with a set of advantages and disadvantages. A Chapter 7 liquidation, for example, is generally ideal for those dealing with credit card bills, medical bills, and personal loans. A Chapter 13 reorganization, on the other hand, is often apt for those with assets that they would want to keep or who have fallen behind on a mortgage or their taxes.

A hands-on Portland bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand how to file a bankruptcy petition successfully. Call our law firm today at 503-694-4445 for a free consultation.

What Is a Bankruptcy Exemption in Oregon?


Regardless of the filing chapter, a bankruptcy filing will stay on your credit report for several years. It will affect your credit score and ability to get credit after bankruptcy. However, filing bankruptcy can help tremendously with debt settlement and make your life less stressful. 

A bankruptcy exemption is a law that allows you to keep certain property and assets safe in bankruptcy, such as a car, professional tools, clothes, and retirement accounts. If an asset is exempt from bankruptcy, you no longer have to worry about a bankruptcy trustee taking and selling that asset to pay your creditor.

Know more about bankruptcy exemptions by connecting with a reliable Portland bankruptcy attorney. To know more about Oregon bankruptcy exemtions, reach out to us by scheduling a consultation with our Oregon bankruptcy attorney or call us at 503-852-9047.

An Overview of the Bankruptcy Procedure


Being in serious debt is a big problem, and filing for bankruptcy may be the best way to “hit the reset button” and rebuild your financial future. Depending on the specific circumstances, filing for bankruptcy can help stop foreclosure, repossession, and wage garnishment. Additionally, a creditor of a debt included in the bankruptcy discharge cannot even contact the debtor for repayment after bankruptcy proceedings are finalized.

In Oregon, an individual filing bankruptcy can elect EITHER the federal bankruptcy exemptions – found in the Bankruptcy Code or Oregon bankruptcy found in the Oregon Revised Statutes or ORS. For some people who have not lived continuously in Oregon for the last two years, it gets even more complicated as Oregon law may not apply and the law of some other state may control. In terms of filing chapters, these apply to both Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy and Chapter 13 reorganization bankruptcy. In general, under the ORS, there is no distinction between these two common bankruptcy chapters.

When declaring bankruptcy in Oregon, it is best to seek legal advice from a professional who can explain all relevant bankruptcy laws to you. At Michael D. O’Brien & Associates, our Oregon bankruptcy lawyers are committed to helping people get relief from their debt, relief from foreclosures or garnishments, and get back on track to success.

Bankruptcy Exemptions on Common Properties


Household Goods and Bank Accounts


Many individuals considering bankruptcy are curious if they can keep their cash on hand or money in a bank account. Oregon Law ORS Section 18.345(1)(o) protects $400 in cash for an individual filer. For a married couple filing a joint case, this increases to $800 in cash. Any stock or bond accounts that are not retirement-related, however, will not be protected.

. If you are eligible to use the federal exemptions, you might be able to protect up to $13,900 of cash in the bank! This is very dependent on the asset mix that you own which is why hiring a competent bankruptcy attorney like Michael D. O’Brien & Associates is so important.

Furniture, household goods, and other furnishings valued up to $3,000 are protected by ORS Section 18.345(1)(f). For these items, the value is based on the replacement cost for such “used” property – think the cost at Goodwill or Salvation Army to buy replacement stuff.

Real Property


For individuals, up to $40,000 in home equity is protected under ORS Sections 18.395 and 18.402. This is increased to $50,000 for a joint bankruptcy filing, and the homestead exemption also protects equity in a manufactured home or camper that you reside in. The federal exemptions are similar but the more equity you own in a home, the less cash you can shield using federal exemptions. Additionally, under ORS Section 18.345(1)(d), the maximum equity allowed in an automobile is $3,000 for individuals and $6,000 for joint filers.

If you wish to know more about these, consult with our diligent Portland OR bankruptcy lawyers. Call us today at 503-694-4445 , and we will provide you with the legal help you need.

Tools of Trade 


ORS Section 18.345(1)(c) protects $5,000 in tools of the trade. As long as both parties are active in the business, joint filers may have tools worth $10,000 protected.

Firearms


In general, the statute protects two guns per person filing for bankruptcy. Under ORS Section 18.362, up to $1,000 in value (for up to two guns) is covered for an individual filer or $2,000 in value (for up to four guns) for a married couple.

Pending Settlements and Claims


In case of any pending workers’ compensation, individual filers can have $7,500 in workers’ compensation protected under ORS Sections 656.234 and 18.348(2). ORS Section 18.345(1)(L), meanwhile, covers $10,000 in compensation for loss of future earnings (to the extent necessary for the support of the individual’s family).

In case of a personal injury claim settlement, up to $10,000 in personal injury settlement funds is protected by ORS Section 18.345(1)(k). These amounts are doubled for joint bankruptcy cases. Again, other amounts apply if you are using the federal exemptions.

ORS sections 18.358 and 238.445 and various sections of the federal code protect 100 percent of all Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)-qualified retirement plans and all federal and public pension benefits. A pending Social Security Disability award, however, should be discussed in detail before bankruptcy is filed.

Please contact Michael D. O’Brien & Associates, P.C. to discuss Oregon bankruptcy exemptions and determine the timing of declaring bankruptcy given these things.

Seek Reliable Legal Help


Oregon bankruptcy exemptions are specific and must be applied to your belongings on the date you file a bankruptcy case. Maybe you are better off using the federal exemptions. Maybe the exemptions of some other state apply. Many other exemptions besides those discussed above exist, depending on the actual circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy petition. If you are unsure if your properties or benefits are protected in a bankruptcy case, you should discuss this question early with a reliable bankruptcy attorney.

If you are struggling with debt and you are considering bankruptcy, call us today at Michael D. O’Brien & Associates by dialing 503-694-4445. Our professional Portland OR bankruptcy attorneys can assess your financial situation and help you decide the best course of action to take.

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FACING COMPLEX DEBT PROBLEMS?

Whether you're dealing with overwhelming debt, stopping foreclosure or repossession proceedings, or looking for a way to protect your assets, our Portland bankruptcy attorneys are here to help you overcome your financial hurdles!

Please be aware that submission of this no-obligation form does not establish an attorney-client relationship. By filling out the form, you agree to receiving emails from our firm regarding your case evaluation and other helpful resources.