March 22, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Bill seeks to alter Arizona bankruptcy exemptions
From start to finish, much of the bankruptcy process is governed exclusively by federal law. However, when it comes to bankruptcy exemptions - which is property that the debtor is able to keep since it is "exempt" from the bankruptcy estate - the federal bankruptcy code expressly permits each individual state to opt-out of the federal exemptions and create their own, which Arizona has done.
Consequently, those filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona
have a wide variety of exemptions at their disposal. For instance, there is a homestead exemption up to $150,000 and an exemption for a debtor's car up to $5,000.
Interestingly, not all of the exemptions in Arizona are so standard, as with the exemption for milk cows, horses, poultry or pets - so long as their total value doesn't exceed $500. There is even an Arizona exemption for burial plots.
In an effort to simplify many of the more specific Arizona bankruptcy exemptions, Rep. Eddie Farnsworth recently introduced a bill that would eliminate the statutory language detailing several particular exemptions and instead give the debtor more freedom in electing what to keep safe from bankruptcy.
For example, some current Arizona bankruptcy exemptions include:
-One dining room and one kitchen table, with four chairs each
-One living room couch
-Three lamps for the living room
-Three end tables or coffee tables for the living room
-One radio alarm clock
-One vacuum cleaner
-One washing machine
However, the new bill - otherwise known as House Bill 2325
- would make these exemptions significantly broader and give the debtor liberty in determining what belongings he or she deems important. Specifically, the language of the bill states, "Household furniture and furnishings, household goods, including consumer electronic devices, and household appliances personally used by the debtor or a dependent of the debtor [...] are exempt from the [bankruptcy] process."
The new bill, if passed, would simply allow a debtor to keep any household goods and furnishings he or she wanted, and not only the ones currently delineated. However, it is important to note that the bill, as it currently stands, would limit the total fair market value of these household goods and furnishing to $6,000 - which is an increase from the current law limiting these exemptions to only $4,000.
These are simply a few of the Arizona exemptions that this new bill is attempting to modify, and as with most bankruptcy issues, exemptions can get quite complicated. Consequently, if you are considering a bankruptcy filing it is important to speak with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney to ensure you get the guidance you need.
Article provided by Arizona Law Group of Trezza & Associates, LLC
Visit us at www.filebankruptcyinarizona.com---
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