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    Wildcard & unused homestead

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post and I am trying to learn how to best proceed with my upcoming bankruptcy. Quick explanation. My husband and I have a farm that is going under. The government is moving to foreclose and we are terrified as this is our life and our livelihood.

    We are trying to decide if Chapter 7 will work for us with its exemption options. Our goal is to protect our cattle herd. We don't care about the equipment we have. It looks like in Washington state we can each claim a "tools of the trade" exemption up to 20k total as a couple.

    My question is about the wildcard/homestead combination I keep reading about. I understand that any unused portion of the homestead exemption can be stacked onto the wildcard up to a certain amount. But, we own no property/homestead. Does this disqualify us from using the unused portion?

    If we do qualify for the wildcard/unused homestead exemption and the tools of the trade exemption we can save our cattle in Chapter 7.

    Any thoughts/advice/experience are greatly appreciated.

    #2
    Thefarmer Welcome to bkforum.

    Do you want to continue to operate the farm? If so, you need to discuss with an attorney the benefits of a Chapter 12 - and the benefits of a Chapter 12 are substantial.

    Please note that if the USDA has a blanket lien (UCC1), filing a Chapter 7 is most likely not going to protect the herd from a forced sale by the lienholder.

    You need to talk to an attorney.

    Des.

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      #3
      Thank you despritfreya I appreciate the advice.

      We are looking at a Chapter 12 option. It is quite intimidating so we are talking with an attorney next week. Yes we do hope to keep the cattle and keep farming. About half of our herd is secure collateral with usda and most of our equipment is as well.

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        #4
        There are not too many Chapter 12s filed in my State (typically no more than 3 or 4 per year) I have done a few of them and they worked to perfection.

        The protections allotted to the "family farmer" are superior to those for a typical consumer under Chapter 13. Not knowing anything about you or your situation, the fact that you want to continue to operate the farm and keep the livestock screams "Chapter 12".

        Keep us posted.

        Des.

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