November, 2013
Kansas Bankruptcy News
A monthly publication for the non-bankruptcy attorney prepared by the Law Office of
Donald C. Astle, Donald C. Astle and Sheila Maksimowicz Attorneys at Law.
345 Riverview Suite 730,Wichita, KS
You Can't Keep Your Boat in Bankruptcy.
Right?  Sometimes You Can!

     One of the fundamentals of bankruptcy is that the debtor can keep what is needed for a fresh start but not necessarily the “toys.” The debtors can keep a car to go back and forth to work, but they don’t need a boat.
     As we discussed last month, if a debtor has not lived in Kansas for the two years prior to filing bankruptcy in Kansas then the debtor probably can’t use Kansas exemptions. The exemptions of the state that the debtor lived in before moving to Kansas must be used. But if that state’s exemptions do not have extra territorial effect outside that state (most don’t) then the default federal exemptions are used.
     The federal exemptions have a “wild card” exemption that allows the debtor to exempt anything, including a boat, up to a certain value. 11USC522(d)(5). The purpose of this “wild card” exemption is to allow debtors that do not have their own homes, and thus have no home equity asset to survive bankruptcy, be allow to exempt other property and keep that property through bankruptcy. Basically, the federal “wild card” exemption allows a debtor who is a renter and has no homestead exemption to exempt up to $12,725 in any property he wants. Thus, the debtor’s $12,725 boat is ...exempt.

Copyright The American Bankruptcy Institute. Used with permission.
Our out of town clients can now receive their final bankruptcy electronically.  This saves a lot of time for clients in Western Kansas where it takes days by mail.  Every day saved is important if you are being garnished!
11USC 522 (d)(5)
The following property may be exempted under subsection (b)(2) of this section:
(1) The debtor’s aggregate interest, not to exceed $1,225 in value plus up to $11,500 of any unused amount of the exemption under paragraph (1) of this subsection. (Note: Paragraph 1 referred to is the federal homestead exemption.)
Most clients that move in from out of state don’t have a homestead exemption to claim. Most seem to rent. Thus, the client will have a $12,725 “wild card” exemption. Typically this will be used to exempt a tax refund, which otherwise would not be exempt. But boats, dirt bikes, and four wheelers can be exempt for that “fresh start!”
JP...The Legal Cartoon

Copyright David Carter used with permission.
Serving Kansas since 1984, The Law Offices of Donald C. Astle practices exclusively in consumer bankrupcy and collection law. No other cases are accepted.

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Sheila C. Maksimowicz
University of Kansas, 1980
Donald C. Astle
Washburn University, 1984