May 6, 2012

Many people considering bankruptcy live with the fear of losing all of their property. However, that is not the case. And more often than not, they will not lose anything at all. This is all due to “exemptions.” Think of an exemption as a credit you can use to buy back your property. If you have a loan or lien on a piece of property, then you only need to use your credits to buy back you ‘equity’ in the property (Equity = Value – Loan Amount).

In Michigan, those filing for bankruptcy have the option of choosing Federal or Michigan exemptions. A quick run-down is as follows.

Homestead – $23,675
Household Goods – $12,625
Motor Vehicles – $3,775
Tools of Trade – $2,375
Jewelry – $1,600
Wildcard – $13,100

Homestead – $38,225 (standard), $57,350 (over 65yrs or disabled), unlimited (if you and your spouse both own the home)
Household Goods – $3,825
Motor Vehicles – $3,525
Tools of Trade – $2,550

Additionally, you may have unlimited exemptions to protect property such as life insurance proceeds and retirement accounts.

Give us a call at (616) 920-0555 or send me an email at if you have any questions regarding exemptions and would like to speak to a licensed attorney in Grand Rapids, MI.