Following job loss or medical emergencies, some Louisiana residents may struggle to maintain financial stability. Sadly, many wait too long before taking affirmative action. The federal Bankruptcy Code offers consumers fresh economic starts through bankruptcy, while also providing several levels of protection. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide immediate relief, but because it is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, consumers may think all their assets will be liquidated.
It is helpful to have an understanding of the exemptions allowed in Louisiana regarding bankruptcy proceedings. The biggest concern of most people is losing their homes, but Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings may be subject to homestead exemptions. This may allow filers to keep their homes, though value limits are applicable. The same goes for a motor vehicle -- which may be essential for traveling to work. Automobile exemptions -- also with capped limits -- may allow a bankruptcy filer to keep the family car.
Further good news is the fact that exemptions even exist for some personal property. A variety of items can qualify, including clothes, home furnishings, jewelry, appliances and more. Once again, there may be value limits per item and for the lot. For property that fails to qualify for inclusion in any of the above three exemptions, many states allow wild card exemptions; unfortunately, that option is not available in Louisiana.
Filing for bankruptcy is not something into which consumers should rush. Information about the applicable state laws and the exemptions that are available, along with the pros and cons of each bankruptcy chapter, is vital before a consumer can make informed choices. The future financial stability of one's family may be on the line, and the support and guidance of a skilled and experienced bankruptcy attorney can be invaluable.
Source: FindLaw, "Bankruptcy Exemptions: Chapter 7", Accessed on Nov. 12, 2016