When you file for bankruptcy, state law has established property exemptions that determine the value of assets you can keep. New Jersey allows bankruptcy filers to choose either state or federal exemptions, but they cannot mix and match between the two lists.
If you are struggling with expensive debt and have considered filing for bankruptcy, review some of the most common property exemptions available in New Jersey.
New Jersey does not provide homestead protection for a primary residence. However, if you file for bankruptcy alone and your spouse owns the home with you, you can keep the property as long as you remain current on the payments. If you decide to use the federal exemptions, you can retain $25,150 in your primary residence as a single person or double that as a married couple.
Personal property exemptions
New Jersey allows bankruptcy filers to keep clothing, burial plots, up to $1,000 in furniture and decor, corporate holdings and stocks, pensions and retirement funds, 90% of earned wages, public benefits, and proceeds from insurance claims. The state does not have a motor vehicle exemption, but it does allow a $1,000 wildcard exemption you can apply to any personal asset.
Federal personal property exemptions include a motor vehicle worth up to $4,000, jewelry worth up to $1,700, and up to $13,400 total and $625 per item for pets, livestock, instruments, books, furniture, appliances and clothing.
If you decide to file for bankruptcy, closely review state and federal exemptions to determine the best route for your personal situation.