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dylatess, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 5156
Experience:  37 plus years of experience specializing in bankruptcy law
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If a debtor who is filing a chapter 7 BK receives a settlement

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If a debtor who is filing a chapter 7 BK receives a settlement for a car accident he was injured in for the amount of $13,000. He still passes the means test even with this money added into his monthly income. Can this money be protected? He lives in Maryland.

Over 35 years, I have assisted my clients with debt problems having filed more than 32000 Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy petitions.


Thanks for your question. Please note that you are confusing the means test which addresses income and the exemptions you can claim. Accordingly, based on what exemptions you elect, you may be able to protect the settlement under what is known as the wild car exemption which allows you to claim anything up to $15000. But you cannot factor in the settlement award into the means test. Accordingly, I strongly suggest, if you do not already have, an attorney prepare your petition so that the trustee does not make a claim to the settlement.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX not see the $15,000 under the wild card exemption? When I look it up it shows


Wild Card Exemption

$6,000 of cash or any property; must claim exemption within 30 days of levy or attachment.

Sorry. That was a typo. The wild car exemption is a combined $11,000 in Maryland. So you would have $2000 in non exempt assets. And under such circumstances, the trustee typically allows you to buy back your non exempt asset by making monthly payments to the trustee for a total amount of $2000. And with the $2000, the trustee can pay a small portion of your debts. Again, if you do not have representation, you should get someone to help you and be your spokesperson in talking to the trustee.


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