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Do I Lose Everything if I File for Bankruptcy in Queens?

Thorough New York bankruptcy attorney helps you protect your assets through exemption laws

One of the greatest concerns debtors have is that filing for bankruptcy will cost them their home, car or jewelry. As a debt relief attorney, I am continually asked, “Is my property protected in Queens after filing for bankruptcy?”

I sympathize with your fears — Mark E. Cohen, Esq. is here to help you understand how the law impacts your assets.

Bankruptcy exemptions in Queens

Changes in 2011 to New York bankruptcy laws give you even more choices. In addition to considering whether to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can now choose between New York and federal bankruptcy exemption laws to protect certain of your property from your creditors.

Federal exemptions have never before been allowed in New York bankruptcy filings. Some federal exemptions are better for debtors than the New York exemptions, so discussing your options and your assets with a knowledgeable Queens bankruptcy lawyer is key to making the most of your bankruptcy filing.

In general, you can protect:

Under New York law



  • $150,000 homestead equity for residents in Metro New York, which spouses can combine
  • $4,000 in motor vehicle value, $10,000 for disabled-equipped vehicle
  • Up to $10,000 in cash, household goods and clothing
  • An extra $1,000 wildcard if homestead exemption not used
  • Up to $1,000 in jewelry
  • $3,000 in professional tools

Under federal law

  • Up to $21,625 in home equity for your residence
  • Up to $3,450 in your vehicle’s value
  • $550 for one item or up to $11,525 in aggregate value of home furnishings, goods, clothing and appliances
  • Up to $1,150 in equity in another property, plus up to $10,825 in unused exemption from your residence
  • $2,175 in professional tools
  • Most life insurance benefits
  • Social security, workers compensation, veterans, unemployment, disability and welfare benefits
  • Most personal injury compensation
  • Tax-exempt retirement funds

Weighing all of your exemption options

Each of these items has quirky rules. I keep track of them so you do not have to. I lay out all of your options and explain why one or another might be of greater benefit to you. Any question you have about filing for Chapter 7 in Queens or filing for Chapter 13 is promptly answered. You can depend on this Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney for concrete answers.

To ease the stress of overwhelming debt, call a bankruptcy lawyer in Queens

All too often, good people find themselves in financial trouble that quickly spirals out of control. For more than 30 years, I have helped people like you understand the available options, make informed decisions and navigate through the complex process of filing for bankruptcy.

Located on Old Country Road in Westbury, I offer a wide range of services to individuals and families suffering from the weight of debt. Call Mark E. Cohen, Esq. at 718-223-5492 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation.


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