How much Jewelry can I Keep in a Bankruptcy in New York City?

For many people a piece of jewelry is more than a luxury item it’s a piece of their family history and personal heritage. The thought of losing grandpa’s gold watch can be scary enough to dissuade many people from filing bankruptcy that could really use the help. The good news is in New York City is that if you are filing bankruptcy you will most likely be able to keep your jewelry if it is in your best financial interest to do so. How much jewelry can be protected will depend on the type of bankruptcy you file, and how you use the New York State jewelry exemptions with your wildcard and homestead exemptions. If all else fails in many cases non-exempt jewelry can simply be purchased back from the bankruptcy trustee.

Oftentimes jewelry that falls below the jewelry exemption amounts will be simply abandoned by the bankruptcy trustee. While the jewelry might have a lot of value to you, as a way to repay your creditors it isn’t worth nearly as much. Remember that if a trustee sells your jewelry they must pay you the exemption amount first before using any proceeds to pay your creditors. There is a cost for selling the jewelry as well, and the trustee also takes a commission of the sale. What little is left goes to your creditors. If you have ever tried to sell jewelry second hand you realize just how little a trustee will be offered for your jewelry in the first place. The market for used jewelry is not strong enough for a trustee to normally take a serious interest.

In a Chapter 7 case there are specific exemption amounts set aside for your personal jewelry and you can also use your wildcard exemption or even a portion of your homestead exemption to protect your entire jewelry collection. At the end of the day and while there may be some give and take our clients are always able to work with the trustee to save their priceless family heirlooms when filing bankruptcy. If you think you could benefit from bankruptcy protection but are worried about losing your valuable jewelry or family heirlooms get some free advice about your specific financial situation. Bankruptcy laws exist to help debtors get a fresh start, not punish them for their inability to pay their bills. When it comes to saving your jewelry you will be pleasantly surprised by how little the bankruptcy courts will be able to get their hands on. If you live in New York City contact the Law Offices of William Waldner online or at 212.244.2882 to arrange a free consultation today. We only practice bankruptcy law and maintain a 99% Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge record in New York City as of 8/31/16.

**** DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading no attorney-client relationship has been created. Prior results do not guarantee a similar result for future clients.