In the state of Illinois, bankruptcy exemptions are used to protect certain assets from being seized by the bankruptcy court and used to repay creditors. The purpose of these exemptions is to ensure that filers are able to maintain a basic standard of living and keep essential property after filing for bankruptcy.
There are two main types of bankruptcy exemptions in Illinois: state exemptions and federal exemptions. State exemptions are those specified by Illinois law, while federal exemptions are those specified by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Filers in Illinois must use the Illinois state exemptions under most circumstances.
State Exemptions in Illinois:
- Homestead Exemption: This exemption allows filers to protect the equity in their primary residence up to a certain dollar amount. In Illinois, the homestead exemption is $15,000 for individuals and $30,000 for married couples.
- Personal Property Exemption: This exemption protects personal property, such as jewelry, and household furnishings, up to a certain dollar amount. In Illinois, the personal property exemption is part of the wildcard exemption (see below) with a total exemption amount of $4,000 for individuals, or $8,000 for married joint filers.
- Tools of the Trade Exemption: This exemption protects tools, equipment, and other items that are necessary for the filer’s trade or business, up to a certain dollar amount. In Illinois, the tools of the trade exemption is $2,400.
- Retirement Account Exemption: This exemption protects retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, from being seized by the bankruptcy court. In Illinois, there is no specific dollar amount limit for this exemption, but there are limits on the type of account and the amount that can be protected.
- Wildcard Exemption: This exemption allows filers to protect cash and personal property (see above) for other assets of their choosing, up to a certain dollar amount. In Illinois, the wildcard exemption is $4,000 for individuals, $8,000 for joint filers.
- Clothing- Necessary wearing apparel is 100% exempt.
Federal Exemptions in Illinois:
- The federal exemptions include exemptions for items such as Social Security benefits, veterans’ benefits, and public assistance, as well as exemptions for pensions and IRAs.
It is important to note that exemptions in Illinois and the federal exemptions are subject to change, and that the specific exemptions available to a filer can depend on a variety of factors, such as the filer’s income and assets, the type of bankruptcy being filed, and the filer’s individual circumstances.
In conclusion, bankruptcy exemptions in Illinois are an important tool for filers seeking to protect their assets while they navigate the bankruptcy process. Understanding the available exemptions, and how they can be used to protect assets, is an important part of the bankruptcy process. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is recommended that you speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you understand the exemptions available to you and how they can be used to protect your assets.
Leeders Law is happy to offer you a free consultation to discuss how they can use the bankruptcy exemptions to your advantage.