Exempt Assets in North Carolina Bankruptcy

bankruptcy exemptionsWhen individuals or couples start to think about filing for bankruptcy they might be concerned about losing all of their property. Depending on the value of property and a few other factors, certain assets remain exempt from bankruptcy seizures in North Carolina. Bankruptcy applicants may be able to apply for additional federal exemptions as well.

Here are a few bankruptcy exemptions to consider:

  1. Car, truck or other vehicle. A motor vehicle falls under a personal property exemption. The entire vehicle may be exempt from seizure if it is valued at or under $3,500. 
  2. Home. A North Carolina real property exemption applies to a property used as a residence. How the title to real property is held will affect how the exemption applies. Also, the age of the applicant can affect the amount. In some cases, up to $60,000 of property value could be exempt (for widowed individuals age 65 and older), while other applicants may enjoy a $35,000 exemption (under age 65).
  3. Furniture and household goods. These items also fall under the personal property exemption. About $5,500 worth of furniture and household goods are exempt, with possibly $4,000 in additional exemptions if a certain number of dependents are present.
  4. Pensions for certain employees. Pensions of state, city, county, and municipal employees, as well as teachers, firefighters, law enforcement officers and legislators remain exempt.
  5. Business property. Depending on how a business is owned will affect how exemptions apply. An attorney can explain more.


Another factor that can affect exemptions is the type of bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, for instance, uses future income to pay down debts. Understand the type of bankruptcy that is best for your unique situation by meeting with an attorney. Know your options before you apply.

As is the nature with laws, they are ever-evolving. The above exemptions may change over time and individuals should do their due diligence and speak with a bankruptcy lawyer knowledgeable in North Carolina exemptions.