Before Governor Patterson left office in 2010 he made major changes to the exemption laws in New York. One of the major changes affected the homestead exemption in tripling the amount and increasing the amount of other categories. Also, the option to choose the Federal Exemption now exists. (The Federal Exemption can be Advantageous in certain situations where no homestead is taken). The net affect on this law is that previous filers who had too much equity in their homes would have been forced to file Chapter 13 and enter a repayment plan. Now, if they meet the means test they can file Chapter 7 and wipe out the credit card debt.

New York Bankruptcy Exemptions**

Cash, Household Goods and Wearing Apparel
(if no homestead taken)
Cash Exemption
(if Homestead exemption is taken)
Jewelry and Art
Wedding Ring, Watch, Jewelry and Art
up to $1,000
Motor vehicle$4,000
Motor vehicle (disable person)$10,000
(note: this can be doubled for married couples filing jointly, who own the real estate together)
$150,000 for property in the New York City Counties, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester and Putnam;

$125,000 for property in the Counties of Duchess, Albany, Columbia, Orange, Saratoga and Ulster;

$75,000 for all other counties

Cash if Homestead Taken$1000

** The above list just some of these changes. For a full list and how best to apply these exemptions or the Federal ones, please consult with a bankruptcy lawyer.