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Bizar & Doyle LLC, Attorneys & Lawyers  Bankruptcy, Chicago, IL
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Bankruptcy Exemptions

Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are considering filing for discharge of debts in bankruptcy, you may wonder how much of your property you will be able to keep. The answer is quite a bit. Under the bankruptcy law, you have the same property exemption that you would have if a creditor took a judgment against you. For guidance in this matter, you are urged to consult a bankruptcy attorney.

Why property exemptions?

A fundamental right of a creditor taking a judgment against a debtor is execution on the debtor's property. When execution occurs, the court directs the sheriff to seize the debtor's property and sell it at an auction. The auction proceeds go to the creditor.

Execution, if unlimited, could leave a debtor on the street without clothes or furniture. As a result, every state has enacted a list of exemptions of property the sheriff may not take. The bankruptcy code borrows each state's exemptions to determine what a debtor may keep.

Protected Property

In Illinois, you may keep the following when filing for bankruptcy:

  • Homestead: up to $15,000 in equity of your home.
  • Vehicle: up to $2,400 in value.
  • Personal Property: clothes, family pictures, bible, school books, health aids
  • Retirement: pensions, social security benefits, veteran's benefits
  • Life Insurance
  • Partnership interests
  • Personal injury awards: up to $15,000
  • Tools of trade: tools and books up to $1,500.
  • Wages: 85% of one's weekly wages or 45 times the minimum wage whichever is higher. All unearned wages are exempt.
  • Wildcard: up to $4,000 in personal property not including wages.

Bankruptcy Lawyer

At Bizar & Doyle we are available to counsel with specific questions about property exemptions. We are skilled in helping clients with bankruptcy planning. Our goal is that all of client's assets fit within one of the bankruptcy exemptions. For example, a $15,000 vehicle is vulnerable to being taken by the bankruptcy trustee to pay debts. As a planning action, the debtor could sell the car and invest the proceeds in exempt assets such a $2,400 car and life insurance.

Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney at the firm for guidance with bankruptcy exemptions.

Illinois Offices:

  • Loop Office
    123 W. Madison Street
    Suite 205
    Chicago, IL 60602

    South Side Office
    10336 S. Western Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60643

    Rosemont Office
    5600 N River Road
    Suite 800
    Rosemont, IL 60018

    Southwest Suburbs
    15255 S. 94th Avenue
    5th Floor
    Orland Park, IL 60462

  • Far North
    1800 Nations Drive
    Suite 117
    Gurnee, IL 60031

    Western Suburbs
    1444 N. Farnswoth Ave.
    Suite 1018
    Aurora, IL 60505

    Joliet Office
    Lincolnshire Business Center
    1000 Essington Road
    Suite 155
    Joliet, IL 60435

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123 W. Madison Street, Suite 205; Chicago, IL 60602
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

Main Office: 123 W. Madison Street, Suite 205 Chicago, IL 60602
Phone Number: (312) 427-3100