A lot of people are afraid to file for bankruptcy protection because they believe that they’ll have to give up everything of value that they own in the process. As dire as their financial situation may be, the prospect of losing certain sentimental items — like their wedding rings or the family’s heirloom silver — can make them hesitate.
They really have no reason to worry.
Virginia’s bankruptcy laws carve out some exemptions for personal items
There are actually numerous exemptions in the state’s bankruptcy laws that give debtors specific relief — including a statute that specifically permits people to keep:
- A family Bible (regardless of value)
- Their wedding and engagement rings
- Family heirlooms and portraits worth up to $5,000 in value
- Burial lots and funeral contracts valued $5,000 or under
- Their clothing (up to $1,000 in value)
- Their household furnishings (up to $5,000 in value)
- Firearms that have a total value of $3,000 or less
- All pets and animals that they keep for any reason other than sale or profit
- Medical aids and equipment they’ve been prescribed
- Tools they use for their occupation or trade (up to $10,000 in value)
- Motor vehicles worth up to $6,000 total
There are also many other exemptions that may apply to any specific case. In short: There’s no reason to fear a bankruptcy. When you’re burdened by debt, you can seek relief without fear of having everything you cherish being taken away.
Make use of bankruptcy protection without fear
Bankruptcy laws exist for a reason. If you’re overwhelmed by debt, find out what steps you can take to turn your situation around.