A bankruptcy exemption can be used to protect certain types of properties during the bankruptcy process. Although there are federal exemptions, most states offer their own set of exemptions. Whether or not you are eligible to make use of such exemptions depends on how long you have lived in your current state of residence.
To determine which exemptions you can use, you must follow one of these rules concerning your "domicile," or state of residence. If, prior to filing for bankruptcy, you spent at least 2 continuous years (730 days) domiciled in a state, you are required to follow that state's bankruptcy laws regarding exemptions; however, if you have not spent at least 730 consecutive days in a state, you must abide by the exemption laws of which ever state you have resided in for the majority of the past 6 months (180 days).
Once you have determined which state's bankruptcy laws you are required to follow, you can make use of your exemptions. Most states do not allow their residents to use federal exemptions, although certain states—including Rhode Island—give residents the choice between federal or state exemption systems. Common types of exemptions include homestead exemptions, automobile exemptions, and wildcard exemptions.
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If you would like to learn more about the exemptions available to you, contact my firm, the Law Office of Steven J. Hart. I am a Kent County bankruptcy attorney who is dedicated to helping my clients reach a better financial situation. I have the experience and knowledge needed to handle your case, and will take the time to ensure that I offer the best possible guidance for your situation. Call me or fill out a personal consultation form to begin discussing your bankruptcy options, today!