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Firearms in Bankruptcy

  • Jul 7 2016

Many gun owners who are considering filing a personal bankruptcy are concerned about what will happen to their firearms. It is important to confer with your bankruptcy attorney regarding your unique circumstances, especially if your guns are a tool of the trade, a hobby, used for self-defense or an investment. Your firearms are an asset of your bankruptcy estate, so they must be disclosed in your case.

Even though your guns must be disclosed in your bankruptcy filing as assets, the law also provides a debtor with exemptions (both state and federal) that can be claimed to remove your firearms from being included in your estate. In other words, an exemption allows you to keep possession of the protected asset.

Every state has different exemptions, so it is important to consult with a local attorney to determine what options you work in your favor. Below are the federal exemptions that apply to firearms:

11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(5) provides a “catch-all” exemption in the amount of $1,150, which may be applied to any personal property owned by the debtor.

11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(5) allows a debtor to use up to $10,825 of your unused equity in your home that is not already exempted under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1).

11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(6) provides an exemption of $2,175 for tools and equipment used in your occupation or business. For this exemption to apply, you must prove that the guns are necessary for your employment or trade.

Understanding your exemptions and how to properly claim them to protect your assets in bankruptcy can be confusing. If you are considering filing a bankruptcy and you need help determining which type of filing would be best for you, contact Fitzgerald Campbell to schedule an appointment. We do not offer just one debt relief option, we don’t push you in one direction. If bankruptcy right for you, we will tell you. If it’s not, we will tell you that. If bankruptcy is your get out of debt plan, it needs to be done right. It needs to be in the hands of experienced lawyers who have been there before. Contact us today!

Posted in: Bankruptcy