Can My Family Heirlooms and Jewelry be Taken in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy can be an opportunity to get out of an overwhelming financial situation and get you back on the path toward a secure financial future. With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, assets are liquidated to pay back creditors and debts are discharged, which can bring a tremendous amount of relief. However, the idea of losing your personal property can be extremely difficult, especially when it comes to family heirlooms and special jewelry like an engagement or wedding ring.

The good news is that in Georgia there are exemption laws that exempt some of your property from liquidation in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This means that any property (or part of its value) that is covered by exemptions cannot be taken by the trustee. Georgia bankruptcy law provides exemptions that can be used to protect your family heirlooms and jewelry—these exemption laws can be quite tricky so it is best to seek the assistance of a skilled Georgia bankruptcy attorney who can make sure you use the exemptions in a way that best protects your property.

Bankruptcy Exemptions to Protect Heirlooms and Jewelry

Family heirlooms and special jewelry can be exempted using a few different exemptions. Some of these possible exemptions include:

  • The Jewelry Exemption: This Georgia bankruptcy exemption specifically allows for up to $500 of jewelry to be exempted. This includes all types of jewelry including wedding or engagement rings, necklaces, or earrings.
  • The Wildcard Exemption: The Atlanta Wildcard bankruptcy exemption is $1,200. This exemption can be used toward any property, including heirlooms or jewelry not covered by the jewelry exemption.
  • Unused Homestead Exemption: This exemption allows for up to $10,000 of the homestead exemption to be used to exempt other property of the filer’s choosing. This is only available if it is not already being used to exempt the home.

It is also important to note that if you are filing for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse, these exemptions can be doubled and applied to property you own together.

Get Assistance with Your Bankruptcy Exemptions

The purpose of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to help you get in a better, more stable, place financially, not to take away all your belongings. Deciding to file for bankruptcy can already be a highly emotional choice—you don’t want the worry that you will lose special heirlooms or meaningful jewelry to make it even more emotional and difficult. This is why you want the help of a knowledgeable Georgia bankruptcy attorney who thoroughly understands the available exemptions.

The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at The Ballard Law Group have years of experience handling Georgia bankruptcies. With enough strategy, you can make it through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with a fair portion of your belongings protected by exemptions. To see how we can help you with this process, contact us today for a free consultation by calling 404-220-9906, booking an appointment online on our contact page, or chatting with one of our available representatives.