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Objection to Claim of Exempt Property

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  • Objection to Claim of Exempt Property

    We filed BK in July 2010. We've had our 341 (hope I got that right).

    I have a pending PI claim from an accident I was in with two of my children in 2008 and I was injured. The accident was through no fault of my own, but because I did not have PIP I filed suit against the offending party to reclaim my losses.

    At the 341, the Trustee asked what the claim was worth. I had no idea, so he requested a letter from my PI attorney. The attorney put that letter together and said best case scenario, the claim is "worth" about $27,000. However, I have over $5,000 in medical debt, and I assume that my insurance would get back the $5,000 they paid my bank for the total loss vehicle (?) and of course the attorney would get $9,000 (30% of the claim) plus $700 in legal fees...

    Today we get a letter stating that the Trustee objects to the claim. Details are as follows:
    • The Debtors have scheduled the value of each of this asset as "Unknown"
    • The Debtors have claimed an exemption under Section 522(d)(11)(D) in the amount of $XXXXX. There has been no showing that the losses suffered by the Debtors are of a nature which qualifies for exemption under this statute.
    • The Debtors have claimed an exemption under Section 522(d)(5) in the amount of $XXXXX. This "wild card" exemption amount can only be reached by both claiming a loss; there is no evidence to show that both were injured.


    Here are my questions:
    • What does this mean? There's no action called for in the letter... do we counter? Have a meeting? Re-file?
    • Is this perhaps just a mistake in filing on my BK attorney's part and a simple correction will remedy it? I have not expected to get the entire claim should it exceed a certain amount, but also didn't expect to have to forfeit it all.
    • It says we both have to claim a loss for it to be a wild card. It's true my partner was not injured, but my loss (inability to function due to injuries) IS a loss in other ways as partner now has to pick up the slack, so to speak, and take over my duties while I am injured.
    • The amounts listed exceed what I would even receive after the lawyer, medical, etc are paid. Does that mean the Trustee expects to get all of that, and then I am stuck with paying those bills? Please say no!!!


    I am in the State of Washington by the way, and awaiting a response from my BK lawyer, but advice in the meantime is apprecaited.

  • #2
    I had a similar issue, there are a lot of exemptions and it appears you are using federal exemptions. Your attorney should be able to help. Your attorney definitely needs to respond, and perhaps ammend the petition.

    There are several exemptions available.
    the unused wildcard, you may not be able to double it, and it appears you did.
    The personal injury, which has to be for actual injury compensation, which is generally to compensate for some damage to the body, you may just
    need to provide evidence of injury, I had to show some test results showing a spinal cord injury.
    You may consider ammending and claiming an exemption for future lost income if you will suffer those losses in the future. If you are not fully
    back to work then you can add that as an exemption you are claiming. That is a good thing because those types of losses are unlimited I
    believe. If you can show that, none of the rest would matter.

    Your PI attorney needs to be careful in what they claim in a lawsuit because the types of compensation that the lawsuit is for needs to match
    what is in the bankruptcy petition.

    Worst case scenario you will get some of the settlement, because your half of the wildcard should be allowed. If you can show injuries or lost wages
    you should get the rest of it allowed. Just fight it, I had to and got to keep it all, of course my injuries were rather severe.

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