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Homestead, Wildcard, Personal Property & Tools of Trade

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    Homestead, Wildcard, Personal Property & Tools of Trade

    I'm having some trouble understanding how some of the exemptions are applied. Let me throw out a hypothetical (with obviously fake numbers and facts).

    Fact 1: I do NOT own a home or other real property/real estate.
    Fact 2: My personal property and belongings entirely consist of $30,000 in books. (for simplicity's sake)

    A CORRECT set of relevant schedules could be as follows (based on the April 1, 2010 federal exemption values [see 75 F.R. 8747]) :

    $11,525 in household goods - 11 USC 522(d)(3)
    $10,825 in "wildcard" - 11 USC(d)(5)
    $2,175 in tools of trade - 11 USC 522 (d)(6)
    TOTAL exemption: $24,525
    NOT EXEMPT: $5,475 and subject to liquidation.

    Is this correct? Thanks!
    Last edited by njbk7; 12-13-2010, 02:34 AM.

    $30K in books? Are they rare first editions? What basis are you using for the value? Everything should be yard sale value - unless rare, as noted. I see where you've stated "fake numbers" - but not sure why you would when you're asking a question that relates to value and exemptions.... Anyway - back to your other question.

    "Tools of the trade" - what tools are you claiming for your trade? Do you own a business? You cannot claim tools of trade unless you actually have a business is my understanding. Just because its listed doesnt mean you get to claim it... we have TOT as well, but were not allowed to use it as an exemption.

    Anything over and above your exemption must be given to your creditors through the trustee - unless trustee gives you the option to buy it back at fair market value.


      I don't have 30k in books. Or even close to it. I do have a lot of books that are used for work and properly fall under that exemption (and for the purposes of example above let's assume it's more than $2,175). The point of my question is twofold: (1) Can I use the unused portion of homestead exemption even if i don't own a home, and (2) if so, can I apply the wildcard to household goods even if that exemption is fully utilized? I asked these questions in the form of an example because when I've asked the question without one elsewhere no one seems to understand what I am asking. I thought this would be easier to understand; apparently I was wrong.


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