Georgia law requires that state bankruptcy exemptions be used, because the state has opted out of the federal exemptions. Many of Georgia’s normal bankruptcy exemptions are listed below. However, the amounts listed may be higher if filing bankruptcy as a married couple. If you would like more information on how to file bankruptcy in Georgia, please consult an attorney.
– $21,500 of value in real or personal property used as a residence (or a burial plot)
• Equity in automobile
– Up to $5,000 value in all motor vehicles
• Personal property
– Up to $5,000 in household furnishings/goods, clothing, books, appliances, animals, crops, or musical instruments, not to exceed $300 per item
– Up to $500 in jewelry
– Professionally prescribed health aids
• Wages and cash
– 75% of disposable income, or 30 times federal minimum wage
• Tools of the Trade
– Up to $1,500 in implements, professional books, or tools of the trade
– Group life insurance
– Life insurance proceeds
– Unmatured life insurance contracts
– Fraternal benefit society benefits
– Disability/health benefits up to $250 a month
– Some insurance benefits that accrue to dependents
• Pensions and Retirement
– IRAs and other retirement plans exempted by Internal Revenue Code
– Public employee retirement benefits
– Non-profit employee retirement benefits
– Pension payments necessary for support
• Public benefits
– Unemployment compensation
– Workers’ compensation
– Public assistance
– Crime victims’ reparation
– Social security
– Veterans’ benefits
• Child support/alimony
– Alimony and child support necessary for support
– Personal injury recoveries up to $10,000
– Wrongful death payment to the extent necessary for support
– Loss of future earnings payment to the extent necessary for support
• Wild card
– $1,200 of personal property plus up to $10,000 from an unused homestead exemption
How Does the Wildcard Exemption Work?
The wildcard exemption can be used by the debtor to save any property, including property not covered by the other exemptions. The catch is that the debtor can only save up to $1,200 plus up to $10,000 if the homestead exemption is not used.
Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Bankruptcy is complex, and it is important to consult with an attorney before filing bankruptcy paperwork. A Georgia bankruptcy attorney understands Georgia law, and can help you keep your exempt property and avoid making common filing mistakes.