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Bankruptcy exemptions in NY

Haverstraw, NY |

I want to file a bankruptcy. I am not employed and I do not own a house. However I do have about $10,000 in savings. I need this money to live on. I am very frugal, but I need to file now because of judgments. Is there any way to exempt this money? I went to one lawyer who said NO that I was limited to $1000 but is that true?

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Attorney answers 5


This is not correct Under the Federal exemptions you should be able to exempt most of this money with the cash exemption and the wildcard exemption. I would suggest that you contact another attorney.

If you want to find one in your area that focuses on consumer bankruptcy law, search the following website:

Good luck,


If you do not own a home you would be able to keep most of this money through federal wildcard exemption. You may even be able to keep it all by spending some of it on certain necessary items or expenses. Consult with another attorney.


Ron is correct. if you do not need the NYS homestead exemption, and you do not, then you can protect up to $11,995.00 in cash or other assets.

Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.


If you are not utilizing the NY homestead exemption, you can use the NY wildcard to exempt $11,995 in cash. Educate your attorney with this information.


Depending on whether you own a home, you can use the Federal “wildcard” exemption and keep up to $11,995.00 in cash. Even if you use the New York “homestead exemption”, you can still keep up to $5,000.00 cash in your name.

Under the new Bankruptcy laws, a family living in New York may also keep up to $300,000 equity in their home, $10,000 in the bank, and up to $1 million in retirement funds.

Obviously, the lawyer you consulted with does not practice Bankruptcy Law, which is a specialty. In the past year, I have seen many general practitioners who want to join the Bankruptcy trend and file Bankruptcy Petitions for clients that actually end up devastating the debtor’s financial life. A general practitioner would not practice trusts and estates law, and a trusts and estates attorney would not practice criminal law. So no attorney should be practicing Bankruptcy Law he or she has learned both the Federal statutes and New York statutes that apply.

I hope this answers your questions.
Allen A. Kolber, Esq.
Law Offices of Allen A. Kolber, Esq.

Please see my website for further articles and FAQs regarding Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases.

This response and the related links are purely a public resource of general information and is not intended to be nor is it a source of legal advice. This information is generalized and should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.