This article, for individuals considering filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy on Long Island, was
written by Suffolk County bankruptcy lawyer Alan Pressman.  Call
631-234-3883 for a free
consultation, or email me at

Exemptions are the property you can keep when filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Please note that the exemptions
apply only to individuals filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in
New York.  The following discussion pertains to the
major items of property which Chapter 7 debtors typically have.

House - - As of 2017, you can have up $331,100 equity in a jointly owned house, condominium or co-op and still
keep your house in a Chapter 7.  This is known as the New York homestead exemption.  The amount of the
exemption is $165,550 per debtor.  The house, condominium or co-op has to be your principal place of residence
at the filing of the Chapter 7 in order to claim it as exempt.  "Equity" is the value of the house, condominium or
co-op at the time of the filing of the bankruptcy, minus the principal amount owed (at the time of the filing of the
bankruptcy) on any mortgages, home equity loans or home equity lines of credit, and also minus closing costs
which would be incurred in order to sell the house, condominium or co-op.  Please note that the above applies to
mobile homes as well.

And you need to continue to pay any mortgages, home equity loans, or home equity lines of credit, if you want to
keep your house when you're filing a bankruptcy-- because these creditors are secured creditors to whom you have
given a lien against your house.  Mortgages, home equity loans, and home equity lines of credit get listed on
Schedule D (the list of secured creditors) on your chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, and also there is a page in the
chapter 7 bankruptcy petition called the "Statement of Intention"-- where you get to specify your intentions
regarding your secured creditors-- ie. you specify "will continue to pay" if you want to continue making your
mortgage payments and keep your house. Continue to pay your mortgages, home equity loans, and home equity
lines of credit if you have filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy and want to keep your house.  

Cars - - The New York State exemptions allow each Chapter 7 debtor to keep one motor vehicle that is titled in
their name - - as long as the vehicle has approximately $4,000 equity or less.  "Equity" is the market value of the
vehicle at the time of the filing of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, minus the amount of any liens (i.e. car loans against
the vehicle) at the time of filing the Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  A disabled debtor can keep a car with up to $10,000
equity-- if the car is equipped for use by the disabled debtor.  

And you need to continue to pay you car loan if you want to keep your car when you're filing a chapter 7
bankruptcy.  When you have a car with a loan, the car loan gets listed on Schedule D of your bankruptcy petition,
as a secured creditor.  On the Statement of Intention page of the bankruptcy petition, you can specify that you
intend to keep the car (even though you are filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy) and that you will be reaffirming your
car loan. So, you will be signing a reaffirmation agreement as part of the chapter 7 bankruptcy.  The car loan
creditor prepares the reaffirmation agreement while the chapter 7 is going on, the debtor signs it, and it gets
filed with the Bankruptcy Court.  The reaffirmation agreement essentially says that your car loan will be staying in
full force and effect beyond the bankruptcy, exactly the way it was before the bankruptcy was filed. Reaffirming
your car loan, and making your car loan payments on time after the bankruptcy is over, helps to rebuild your credit.

In many cases, Chapter 7 debtors can claim the Federal exemptions rather than the New York State exemptions.  
The Federal exemptions are generally claimed in cases where the debtor does not own  a house, condominium or
co-op, or where the debtor owns a house, condominium or co-op that has no (or very little) equity.  A debtor who
claims the Federal exemptions in their Chapter 7 bankruptcy can potentially keep a motor vehicle that has up to
$16,000  equity.

Retirement accounts - - such as IRA's, 401k's and pensions are typically exempt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Please note that occasional exceptions apply to the above-mentioned exemptions.

Also, there are additional exemptions beyond those listed above - - i.e. exemptions  pertaining to bank accounts,
anticipated tax refunds, household goods, personal injury action proceeds, etc.

When you come in for the free consultation, we will discuss the property which you are allowed to exempt.

Alan Pressman, Attorney At Law

3100 Veterans Highway, Bohemia, NY  11716 --

(Approx. 2 miles south of the LIE, exit 57)

(631) 234-3883


I have been actively handling Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in Suffolk County, Long Island for
more than 30 years.  My practice is  100% handling bankruptcy cases.  I am a solo
practitioner and, as such, will handle your case personally.   

Thanks for taking the time to visit my website.  

Copyright 2011-2017, Alan Pressman, Attorney At Law;    Call me at 631-234-3883

Alan Pressman, Suffolk County chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer near Rokonkoma,11779; Hauppauge,11788;
Bohemia,11716; Holbrook,11741; Islandia,11749; Central Islip,11722; Brentwood,11717; Islip, 11751; Islip
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etc. --
serving all of Long Island since 1981