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If I have to go into bankruptcy, will I lose my possessions?

Remember that the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give you a true fresh start, and not to put you on the street without the basics of life. With that in mind, there is a set of "exemption" laws that controls how much of your property you can keep in bankruptcy. The exemption laws deal with each category of property people own, such as cash, real estate, cars, investments, retirement accounts, furniture, tools, jewelry and so-on. The exemption rule states how much value you can keep in a given category. For example, the exemption for jewelry was (on the day I wrote this) $1,550.00 for a single debtor. For a married couple filing bankruptcy jointly, nearly all of the exemption amounts are doubled. SO, if a single debtor's jewelry is worth less than $1,550.00, it is "exempt" and cannot be claimed by creditors. If on the other hand the jewels are worth $2,000.00, they are only protected up to $1,550.00, and there must be an arrangement made regarding the difference of $450.00. A cash offer might be negotiated on that difference, for example. In other cases, the property might be turned over to the trustee to be liquidated and distributed to creditors. In a high percentage of personal bankruptcy cases, all of the basics of life will be exempt, so you can keep them. On the other hand, luxury items may not be so easy to protect. Don't expect to get a discharge on $20,000.00 of credit card debt while holding onto three corvettes, two snowmobiles, a speedboat and two vacation homes in Hollywood! I don't have room here to discuss the exemption limits in detail, but if we work together I will do an analysis of you possessions and tell you whether any of your property is exposed.

Attorney Paul B. Sherr serves clients in the following areas:

New York: Albany, Troy, Rensselaer, Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, Schenectady, Hudson, Glen Falls, Washington County, Schoharie County, and Greene County.


Massachusetts: Berkshire County, including Pittsfield, Dalton, Washington, Otis, Becket, Hinsdale, Richmond, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Alford, Sheffield, Tyringham, Monterey, Egremont, Cheshire, Adams, North Adams, Hancock, Williamstown, and Lanesboro.

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We hired Attorney Sherr for litigation with great results. His work is outstanding and to this day, he is my business attorney.
With my sincere thanks,
- - Mary A Busch

Dear Paul, I just want to take a few moments to express my gratitude for all the support and expertise you provided me in a situation I was certain had no solution. You were wonderful Paul. Thank you for my peace of mind.
- - Rose M.


I recently enlisted his help in a home owners insurance claim issue. He was very quick to get to the heart of the matter and had it settled in a very timely manner.
- - George and Carol Karlewicz


I needed advice about a financial problem, and I needed advice about bankruptcy. Attorney Sherr is accountable, thorough, and down to earth. I recommend him without hesitation.
- - N. Lowe

Paul Sherr made a difficult situation easy and understandable. I highly recommend his services. He took care of my case is a quick and efficient manner, while being generous with his time and fair with his fees.
- - Kathryn Levin
149 Main Street
Ravena, New York 12143
Phone: 518-533-5982
Fax: 312-253-1173

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