If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in the state of Pennsylvania and you are concerned about your ability to protect your property from being taken from you, then you will be happy to hear that the state provides a number of bankruptcy exemptions. These exemptions generally apply to those who are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, though they may be used to a certain extent by those filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The advantage of using Pennsylvania bankruptcy exemptions is that they eliminate a number of the most pressing concerns expressed by those considering a filing. By allowing debtors to protect their home, the cash, their vehicles and their other possessions, they provide the opportunity to get a fresh start without having to sacrifice all that they have worked for. If you need information on how Pennsylvania bankruptcy exemptions apply to you contact the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Reinherz Law. They will assess your situation, answer all of your questions and provide you with the legal counsel you need to make the decision that is right for you.

Those who are considering taking advantage of Pennsylvania’s bankruptcy exemptions need to understand that they must choose between the exemptions offered by the state and those offered by the federal government – the two cannot be mixed. However, those that choose the state’s exemption options will be able to use federal nonbankruptcy exemptions. This is extremely important, as these nonbankruptcy exemptions can be used to protect such assets as the retirement and disability benefits owed to military personnel and federal employees. Pennsylvania’s bankruptcy exemptions cover a number of different assets and applications. The most commonly used include:


  • An exemption for the equity in your home if you own it with your spouse as a tenancy by the entirety, or if you use the federal bankruptcy exemption scheme.
  • Personal property, including clothing, uniforms, sewing machines, school books and bibles.
  • 75 percent of wages
  • City, state and county employees may maintain their pensions
  • Public school employees, police officers and municipal employees may maintain their pensions
  • Certain private retirement benefits
  • Insurance payments and some annuity or life insurance proceeds
  • Workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation
  • Crime victim compensation
  • $300 of any property
  • Business partnership property

For married couples who are considering filing a joint bankruptcy, these exemptions may be doubled for any property belonging to both of them.

Though many people believe that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a simple administrative process that does not require legal representation, the process is actually quite complex. Having an experienced knowledgeable attorney who can provide you with essential information about the nuances of Pennsylvania’s bankruptcy exemptions, as well as many other factors, can make a very big difference in how much of your property you are able to hold onto. For more information on how the bankruptcy attorneys at Reinherz Law can be of help, call us today.

Learn More About Bankruptcy Exemptions HERE.

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