In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not all property is subject to liquidation in order to pay creditors. Both federal bankruptcy law and Pennsylvania law provide for exemptions for various kinds of property, but before you can use them to best advantage you need to understand not only what they are but how they can be applied.
Pennsylvania residents who are seeking to file chapter 7 bankruptcy to help eliminate some of their outstanding debts have many concerns. One of their top concerns is often their property and home. They do not want to risk losing everything that they have due to financial hardship, and a home often holds more meaning than any other asset. There is a way that you can protect equity when filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy; this is known as the “homestead exemption.”
During a petition in bankruptcy, the court and the bankruptcy trustee will consider the assets that you have declared with an eye toward which of these can be subject to creditor claims for payment of your debts. Particularly in a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, if an asset is not protected then it can be subject to sale so that the proceeds can be used to pay such claims.
During and after a divorce, one spouse might be required to pay the other a sum to help to cover their living expenses. This is called spousal support or alimony. The amount that is paid is either an agreement made between the two separating parties or ordered by the court in Pennsylvania. There are three different kinds of spousal support orders in the state, all of which are exempt from bankruptcy. This means that if you file for bankruptcy, you will still have to pay support.