Changes to NY Bankruptcy Exemptions

On December 24, 2010, in Bankruptcy, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Governor David A. Paterson has signed into law S.7034-A/A.8735-A, which will increase the amount of New York’s bankruptcy exemptions and allow NY debtors to choose  the federal (see Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions & NY) or the new New York state exemptions.

The following is a summary of the changes:

  • Increases the homestead exemption under Section 5206 of the CPLR from $50,000 to: $150,000 for the counties of Kings, New York, Queens, Bronx, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam; $125,000 for the counties of Dutchess, Albany, Columbia, Orange, Saratoga, and Ulster; $75,000 for the remaining counties in the state;
  • Increases motor vehicle exemption under section 282 of the Debtor and Creditor Law from $2,400 to $4,000  for one motor vehicle. If such vehicle is equipped for use by a disabled person, the exemption amount is $10,000 in bankruptcy;
  • Increases the amount of the aggregate individual bankruptcy exemption for certain annuities and personal property under section 283 of the debtor and creditor law from $5,000 to $10,000;
  • Adds a new section 285 to the Debtor and Creditor Law permitting debtors to choose either the current federal exemptions or the new New York exemptions;
  • Increase the exemption for books and religious texts from $50 to $500;
  • Increases the domestic animals and food exemption from $450 to $1,000;
  • Increases one watch from $35 to $1,000 and adds jewelry and art to this category;
  • Increases the tools of trade exemption from $600 to $3,000;
  • Adds a wildcard exemption, if no homestead exemption is claimed,  of $1,000 for personal property, bank account, or cash;
  • Provides for the exemption of one computer and associated equipment, and one cell phone;
  • Exempt up to $6000 cash if no homestead exemption taken and aggregate individual bankruptcy exemption totals $5000 or less.

The entire bill can be found here or here .

The Press Release issued by the Governor’s office.

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