A debtor under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, must elect the exemptions to which they are entitled. Each item of property the debtor claims as exempt in Schedule C, should be described sufficiently to insure the applicability of the exemption to the claimed property.
A debtor may claim exemptions from either: (1) property specified in 11 U.S.C. 522(d) (the federal bankruptcy exemptions), unless precluded from doing so by state law, or (2) property that is exempt under federal law other than Section 522(d) or under applicable state or local law, and interests in property held by the debtor as a tenant by the entirety or as a joint tenant, to the extent exempt under non-bankruptcy law. See 11 U.S.C. 522(b)(1).
It is important to ascertain the debtor's state of domicile, when claiming exemptions under state law. If you are filing a bankruptcy case under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and your domicile is the State of South Carolina, the exemptions you may claim include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $53,375.00 in value, in real property or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, in a cooperative that owns property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, or in a burial plot for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor, except that the aggregate value of multiple homestead exemptions allowable with respect to a single living unit may not exceed $100,000.00. If there are multiple owners of such a living unit exempt as a homestead, the value of the exemption of each individual owner may not exceed his fractional portion of $100,000.00.
(2) The debtor's interest, not to exceed $5,350.00 in value, in one motor vehicle.
(3) The debtor's interest, not to exceed $4,275.00 in aggregate value in household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops, or musical instruments, that are held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.
(4) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $1,075.00 in value, in jewelry held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.
(5) The debtor's aggregate interest in cash and other liquid assets to the extent of a value not exceeding $5,350.00, except that this exemption is available only to an individual who does not claim a homestead exemption. The term "liquid assets" includes deposits, securities, notes, drafts, unpaid earnings not otherwise exempt, accrued vacation pay, refunds, prepayments, and other receivables.
(6) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $1,600.00 in value, in any implements, professional books, or tools of the trade of the debtor or the trade of a dependent of the debtor.
(7) The debtor's aggregate interest in any property, not to exceed $5,350.00 in value of an unused exemption amount to which the debtor is entitled pursuant to subsection (A), items (1) through (6).
See South Carolina Code, Annotated, 15-41-30.
It is important to seek the advice of a skilled Bankruptcy Lawyer practicing in West Columbia, Lexington, and the entire State of South Carolina. The attorneys at Hall & Hall Attorneys at Law can assist you in preparing and filing your Bankruptcy Case; in ascertaining your state of domicile for claiming exemptions; and in choosing and applying the right exemptions applicable to your case under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.