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Home  >  Articles  >  Maximizing Your Exemptions in Chapter 7

Maximizing Your Exemptions in Chapter 7

Filing for Chapter 7 is a powerful tool available to debtors that can allow you to discharge large amounts of outstanding debt and get a fresh start on your finances. This option is only available to those who can demonstrate through the means test that they have limited income and resources, and also includes the unfortunate process of liquidating all of your non-exempt assets in order to pay your creditors. However, during the liquidation process, you may not lose all or many of your assets as you can protect a large amount through exemptions.

At Hong Law, PLC, our legal team is well versed in all manners of bankruptcy law and can offer effective guidance and counseling throughout the Chapter 7 process. To learn more about your rights and options for debt relief, call an experienced Cedar Rapids Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney today at (319) 294-5853.

Getting the Most of Exemptions

In order to protect as much property as possible from liquidation, you can take the following steps:

  • Be sure to file a homestead declaration in order to expedite the process of exempting your home.
  • If you have moved to Iowa within the last two years, your previous state of residence’s exemption laws may favor you more than those in Iowa, or vice versa. You may only utilize Iowa’s exemption rules if you have continuously resided in the state for at least two years, so it is important to time your bankruptcy to allow you to use the set of exemptions which most favors you.
  • If you are due a sizable payment that you have not yet received, it is extremely helpful to delay your bankruptcy until after you have received the payment. This will allow you to spend the money on rent, food, clothing, and other essentials that will otherwise be exempt from liquidation.
  • It is often possible to sell non-exempt property and use the proceeds to purchase necessities or exemptible property, allowing you to retain a greater amount of your assets.

Judges often have differing interpretations of what degree of asset manipulation may be undertaken before it constitutes bankruptcy fraud, so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney before making any major transactions leading up to a bankruptcy.

Contact Us

If you are considering utilizing Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a form of debt relief, be sure that you fully understand how the Iowa exemption rules will apply to you in order to maximize the property you are able to retain following your discharge. For a free consultation to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Cedar Rapids bankruptcy lawyer, call Hong Law, PLC, today at (319) 294-5853.