Chapter 13 bankruptcy is attractive to debtors for many reasons, but chief among them tend to be the instant relief from collections efforts, the structured repayment plan that allows them to partially make good on their debts rather than simply abandoning them and the ability to retain many kinds of property that may be considered exempt from bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, Chapter 13 is not available to everyone, but may be a good fit for those who have sufficient means and assets to repay their debts, but are overwhelmed by collection efforts and perhaps many varying debts spread out across many creditors. When making an offer of repayment to creditors, the value of the property of the debtor that is not exempt is generally considered the minimum acceptable pay-off offer to be considered for discharge of debt.
However, many kinds of property are allowed an exemption. With proper utilization of the law, a debtor may be able to legally discharge debt without completely abandoning it, while still retaining much of their personal property.
Property which is allowed an exemption may vary from one jurisdiction to another, so it is vital for a debtor who is considering a filing for a Chapter 13 plan to have a thorough understanding of the locally applicable laws. Property exemptions generally are available for a family home, automobiles, equipment or property that is deemed necessary for the debtor's livelihood (which may include specialized tools or musical instruments). Exemptions may also be made for jewelry and household items like furniture.
As always, filing for any kind of bankruptcy requires an in-depth knowledge of the law, to make sure you are making the most efficient debt relief proposal and increase the likelihood that it will be accepted by a judge. If you are ready to put together the perfect bankruptcy proposal for your situation, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you navigate this difficult field and ensure that your rights will remain protected in the process.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Exempt Property in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy," accessed Nov. 15, 2016