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Exemption Upgrades Favor Idaho Debtors

Avery Law

On March 24th, 2020, Idaho's Governor Brad Little signed into law important updates to Idaho property exemptions, available to debtors in bankruptcy to protect the property needed to support themselves and their families. These updates mean that individuals and couples can file bankruptcy with a reduced risk of losing their homes and other property.

The most important change was to the homestead exemption, which increases from $100,000 to $175,000. Because most Idaho exemptions apply only to equity, as long as the house is not worth $175,000 more than the mortgage balance owed, debtors get to keep their house and all the equity through bankruptcy.

Other exemptions were increased to perfect other types of property as well. The automobile exemption increases from $7,000 to $10,000 for each debtor, the firearm exemption increases from $750 to $1,500 for each debtor, and the important tools of the trade exemption, used for tools needed in earning your primary income, increases from $2,500 to $10,000. The exemption for household goods remains at a sufficient total of $7,500, but each item on that category can be valued as high as $1500, compared to the previous limit of $750.

The Idaho "wildcard" exemption, used for tangible items with more than their dedicated exemption, or without a dedicated exemption, increases from $800 to $1,500 per debtor. This exemption is often used for firearms beyond the first two, cash in hand, ATVs, or trailers.There are also increases to earned, but unpaid, wage exemptions and water rights exemptions. It has been more than ten years since these exemptions were increased and this change helps the exemptions meet their intended purpose in a time of higher costs and home values, and helps debtors come out of bankruptcy and able to support their families.

Avery Law is ready to employ these protections for our clients, and the new exemption amounts apply to any case filed on March 24, 2020 or later. If you've been delaying your bankruptcy for fear of losing property, please contact Avery Law for a free consultation with one of our expert attorneys. Our firm helps more debtors file bankruptcy in Idaho than anyone else, and we can help you deal with your debts responsibly and protect your property.