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When you file for bankruptcy, you can keep certain assets while still qualifying for debt discharge. In New Jersey, you can choose to use either the state or federal property exemptions.

If you struggle with mounting debt and live in New Jersey, review the types of property you can keep in a bankruptcy filing.

Wages

You must use up to 25% of your gross wages to repay creditors in New Jersey. If you learn less than 250% of the federal poverty threshold, that amount drops to 10%. Federal guidelines allow you to keep 75% of your disposable income.

Home equity

If you own your home, you can retain up to $23,675 in home equity when you file for bankruptcy under the federal exemptions. If you and your spouse both file, you can keep $47,350 in home equity. Unlike many states, New Jersey does not have its own homestead exemption.

Motor vehicles

New Jersey does not have a specific motor vehicle exemption, but many people apply the state’s $1,000 personal property exemption for this purpose. Under the federal exemptions, you can keep $3,775 of automobile equity if you are single and twice that if you and your spouse both file for bankruptcy.

Miscellaneous items

New Jersey also allows you to keep:

  • Furniture and household items up to $2,000 for a married couple or $1,00 for an individual
  • Burial plots
  • Clothing

Federal law provides for up to $12,625 to protect crops, household items, animals, clothing, home furnishings, appliances, books and musical instruments. You can also keep up to $1,600 in jewelry.