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Bankruptcy-Exempt Property in Texas

what Property Can You Keep If You File Bankruptcy

One of the most common concerns for people considering bankruptcy is that they will lose their houses, their cars and all their other property. In Texas, very few people lose anything when filing bankruptcy, thanks to exemptions that protect most items.
People in Austin and throughout Texas have turned to the law firm of Hickson Law, PC, since 1991. Many people come to Hickson Law, P.C. because they need to stop foreclosure or stop repossession. They want to protect their property, not give it up. Our attorney is committed to carefully guiding you through the bankruptcy process, eliminating your debt but helping you keep your property in the process.

Is Your Case a No-Asset Case?

The majority of cases she handles are referred to as no-asset cases. This does not mean that you do not have any assets. Far from it. What it actually means is that you do not have any assets that are eligible for liquidation. All of your assets are actually exempt. If you are like most people, you simply do not have any nonexempt property, so you will walk away from the bankruptcy process with all your assets intact.

Texas Law and Property Exemptions

The majority of cases she handles are referred to as no-asset cases. This does not mean that you do not have any assets. Far from it. What it actually means is that you do not have any assets that are eligible for liquidation. All of your assets are actually exempt. If you are like most people, you simply do not have any nonexempt property, so you will walk away from the bankruptcy process with all your assets intact.

Texas Law and Property Exemptions
Generally, you may choose to claim property exemptions provided by either Texas state law or federal law. Some of the main exemptions under Texas law include:
  • Your homestead consisting of not more than 10 acres if urban or 100 acres if rural (200 acres for a family)
  • Personal property of up to $50,000 ($100,000 for family), including vehicles, some livestock, home furnishings, clothing and tools of the trade
  • Insurance benefits and qualified retirement plans
Please note that moving to Texas shortly before filing for bankruptcy may limit your use of the Texas state exemptions. Exemptions are determined based on the state where you resided for 730 days prior to bankruptcy. If you did not reside in one state long enough, the court will look to where you resided for the greatest portion of the 180 days prior to the 730-day period. A homestead exemption may also be limited to $125,000 in some cases.
Property exemptions can have a big impact on your decision. If you do have some nonexempt property, you do not necessarily have to lose it. Nonexempt assets are only liquidated in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have nonexempt assets, you may have to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which does not require you to liquidate any property at all. Keeping the property may impact your repayment plan though.