Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
I just posted breaking news about the Governor Paterson’s unexpected signing of the bill to change the New York Bankruptcy Exemption Statutes. See: New York Bankruptcy Exemptions Suddenly Increased – This Is the Biggest Bankruptcy News in Years! 
This Christmas and holiday gift from the outgoing governor is great news for consumers and it will certainly by the major topic of bankruptcy conversation this coming year. The new law, which will help consumers protect more assets than ever before, will certainly lead to many more consumer bankruptcy filings for years to come.
Over Christmas break I prepared a chart outlining the most important changes to the New York exemption statutes that we commonly use for our bankruptcy clients.
There are other changes as well that I didn’t outline, as they never come up. For example, there are also increased protections for cell phones, health aids, food, heating equipment, religious books, etc. However, I have never seen a trustee raise any issue of any kind with such assets.
The Federal Exemptions Come to New York
Perhaps the other major aspect of the new exemption law is that it permits New York residents to choose between the New York exemption statutes and the Federal Exemption statutes which are set forth in Section 522(d) of the Bankruptcy Code.
The federal exemptions have never been available in this state before.
The federal exemptions have some liberal provisions not otherwise available in New York statutes. They provide many additional protections that would be most useful to those consumers who do not need to take advantage of their homestead exemption.
The federal exemptions contain a “wild card” exemption that enables consumers to protect a generous amount of cash.
I will discuss the federal exemptions in future article that I will post later this week.
Chart Containing the Most Important Changes to the New, 2011 Bankruptcy Exemption Statutes for New York
|Existing New York State Bankruptcy Exemptions
||NEW New York State Bankruptcy Exemptions|
|Homestead Exemption (note: this can be doubled for married couples filing jointly, who own the real estate together)
||Homestead Exemption (note: this can be doubled for married couples filing jointly, who own the real estate together)
||Motor Vehicle equipped for use by a disabled person (new category)
|Cash Exemption if Homestead Exemption is taken
||Cash Exemption if Homestead Exemption is taken
|Jewelry and Art
||Jewelry and Art
|Tools of Trade (these are the working tools and implements that are necessary to carry on one’s business)
||Tools of Trade (these are the working tools and implements that are necessary to carry on one’s business)
|Aggregate Individual Bankruptcy Exemption for Cash, Household Goods and Clothing
||Aggregate Individual Bankruptcy Exemption for Cash, Household Goods and Clothing
Link to the Actual Bankruptcy Exemption Bill
Here is a link to the actual bankruptcy exemption bill .