Last month featured a blog on Kansas Exemptions and how they affect a Debtor’s bankruptcy. This blog will be highlighting some of the information from last month but also providing new information specific to Missouri bankruptcy exemptions.
When a Debtor files bankruptcy there are certain protections that they have. One of the protections afforded to Debtors is their right in bankruptcy to “exempt” certain property. This means they can protect certain property from creditors. Each state has its own set of exemptions.
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. 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 un-exempt amount into your bankruptcy so that you could keep your property and the trustee could use those proceeds to pay off your creditors.
It is important to note that Missouri is an “opt-out” state. This means that you may only exempt property using Missouri bankruptcy exemptions. A debtor is not able to use Federal exemptions in their case. Although a Debtor is not able to use Federal exemptions, Missouri does allow joint Debtors to double some of their exemption amounts. For example, if a couple files a joint bankruptcy case in Missouri and owns a car together, they are allowed to use both exemption amounts for that one vehicle.
In Missouri you can exempt up to $15,000 of equity in your principal residence. If you reside in a mobile home, you are allotted $5,000.00 in homestead exemptions.
Motor Vehicle Exemption
In Missouri you can exempt up to $3,000 of equity in a motor vehicle.
Personal Property Exemptions
In Missouri you can exempt up to $3,000 in furniture, clothing, appliances and animals. You can exempt $1,500.00 for a wedding ring and an additional $500.00 for other jewelry.
Unlike Kansas, Missouri offers a wildcard exemption in the amount of $600.00 that can be applied to any property.
If you have questions about Missouri Bankruptcy Exemptions 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.