What are the Exemption Rules in Georgia?

09 Oct What are the Exemption Rules in Georgia?

If you are a Georgia resident or are otherwise required to use the Georgia exemptions, here are some basics about the Georgia exemption rules:

  • Georgia is an “opt out” State – this means that you have to use the Georgia exemption rules.
  • The Georgia exemption rules are among the stingiest in the country. The exemptions allowed in Georgia are less generous than the federal exemption statute.
  • The Georgia exemption rules may be found in the Official Code of Georgia Section 44-13-100.
  • Although the exemption statute is a little unclear about this, case law tells us that a 401(k), IRA or other pension subject to ERISA anti-alienation rules is 100% exempt.
  • Workers’ compensation settlements are exempt to the extent necessary for the support and maintenance of the debtor and the debtor’s dependents. Usually, this question will have to be brought to your bankruptcy judge at a hearing.
  • Valuations of personal property are retail valuations, not wholesale ones. In practice, however, a purchase offer from CarMax or an informal jewelry appraisal from a “we buy diamonds” store will suffice.
  • The most commonly used exemptions are as follows. In joint cases, you may double the exemption:
  • real estate – $10,000 for a homestead per filer
  • motor vehicles – $3,500 of equity in a vehicle
  • household goods – $5,000, with no one item worth more than $300
  • jewelry – $500
  • personal injury – $10,000
  • wildcard – $600 + unused real estate exemption up to $5,000
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Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.

I represent individuals in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases filed in the Northern District of Georgia, which includes Atlanta, Newnan, Gainesville and Rome. I publish several informative web sites, including https://www.atlanta-bankruptcy.com and an Atlanta bankruptcy blog, https://www.thebklawyer.com/thebkblog. Please mention Bankruptcy Law Network when you call.
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