Seattle, WA bankruptcy lawyer Steven M. Palmer explains how he can use bankruptcy to help you keep your assets.
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Super complicated question. So really, it depends on which exemption scheme we’re using. Let’s assume that you’ve lived in Washington for at least two, for the last two years. So in that case then you can use either the Washington exemptions or the federal exemptions. So people generally use the Washington exemptions if they have equity in a home. The Washington exemptions will allow you to protect $125,000.00 of equity in your home.
So the equity is going to be the current market value of the home minus any judgement liens or mortgages that you have on the property. So if you take the current value minus that stuff and you’re left with over $125,000.00, we may not be able to protect it and in that case you might have to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. So with the federal exemptions we’re generally filing that if the people don’t have a home that has too much equity. It allows us to protect a lot of other stuff. So then we have something called a wildcard exemption where I can protect maybe $10,000.00 in a bank account and $3,000.00 of a tax refund. So it gives us more flexibility but is only available if you don’t have a lot of equity in a home.