When a Debtor files bankruptcy there are certain protections that they have. One of the protections afforded to Debtors is their right in a bankruptcy to “exempt” certain property. This means they can protect certain property from creditors. Each state has their own set of exemptions and there are also federal exemptions that a Debtor might be entitled to as well.
There are limits to the amount of equity in a piece of property you can exempt. Equity, within the context of bankruptcy, is the difference between the value of the property that you own and what is owed on that property. For example, if a debtor owns a home worth $200,000.00 and has a mortgage on that home for $150,000.00, the debtor has $50,000.00 in equity from that home. If the equity in your property is covered by the exemption amount you can keep the property. If it is not, meaning you have un-exempt equity in the property, the trustee could try to liquidate the asset and pay the proceeds to your creditors. However, it is more likely that you would pay the non-exempt amount into your bankruptcy so that you could keep your property and the trustee could use those proceeds to pay off your creditors.
Homestead Exemption (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-2301)
In Kansas, Debtors can exempt an unlimited amount of value in their home or their principle place of residence. Debtors however can only exempt a certain amount of land in a bankruptcy. In bankruptcy, a Debtor can protect up to one acre of real property while living in the city limits. If a Debtor owns farmland, they can exempt up to 160 acres under the homestead exemption in Kansas.
Vehicle Exemption (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-2304(c))
In Kansas, Debtors can exempt up to $20,000.00 of equity in a vehicle that they own and use for everyday purposes. If the Debtor has a vehicle that is used to help assist with a disability, the debtor can exempt the entire amount of equity in that vehicle.
Personal Property Exemptions (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-2304)
In Kansas, Debtors can exempt several personal property items including but not limited to, their home furnishings, equipment and supplies, and clothing in the Debtor’s present possession and that is reasonably necessary for the Debtor for a period of one year.
Debtors also can exempt jewelry up to $1,000.00 and necessary items for the Debtor’s trade up to $7,500.00.
If you have questions about bankruptcy exemptions in Kansas and think bankruptcy might be right for you, please call our office for a free consultation. We have three convenient locations in the Kansas City area, Olathe, Northland and Independence.