Thursday, August 1, 2013

Exemptions in Missouri – Head of Household and Wild Card

           Other property exempt--provisions--exceptions.
513.440. Each head of a family may select and hold, exempt from execution, any other property, real, personal or mixed, or debts and wages, not exceeding in value the amount of one thousand two hundred fifty dollars plus three hundred fifty dollars for each of such person's unmarried dependent children under the age of twenty-one years or dependent as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration, except ten percent of any debt, income, salary or wages due such head of a family.
(RSMo 1939 § 1327, A.L. 1959 S.B. 238, A.L. 1982 S.B. 490, A.L. 2004 H.B. 959 merged with S.B. 1211, A.L. 2012 H.B. 1527 merged with S.B. 628)
Prior revisions: 1929 § 1163; 1919 § 1614; 1909 § 2183

This means that in a bankruptcy in Missouri, an individual filing who provides the majority of income for the household may exempt any asset up $1,250.00.  This same individual can also add an additional $350.00 for every child under age 21 who is still dependent upon them or an additional $350.00 for someone regardless of age who is determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration. 

For Example, if a single mother of 4 children, ages 15, 17, 19, and 21 were to file bankruptcy, they could claim an additional $2,650.00 worth of exemptions on any item.  This exemption can be used in conjunction with other exemptions such as the Motor Vehicle exemption, or the Wild Card exemption.

(3) Any other property of any kind, not to exceed in value six hundred dollars in the aggregate;

This means that in a Bankruptcy in Missouri, any debtor has a $600.00 exemption that can be used on any asset.  This exemption is available to any debtor.  This means that in the case of a joint filing between a husband and wife, both the debtors would be entitled to this $600.00 exemption creating a total of $1,200.00.  Like the Head of Household Exemption, this exemption can be stacked on top of any other exemption to decrease the amount of non-exempt equity on any item.

For Example, if there is a bankruptcy filed where a car is valued at $3,400.00 with no lien.  The motor vehicle exemption will allow the individual to exempt out $3,000.00 from the bankruptcy estate.  The wild card exemption can then be put on top of the motor vehicle exemption to exempt out the remaining $400.00 in equity from the bankruptcy estate, and the remaining $200.00 of the wild card exemption can be used on a different asset.

To find out more about how the head of household exemption or the wild card exemption can be used in your bankruptcy, or to find out more about the other exemptions available in bankruptcy it is best to contact a local bankruptcy attorney.  Many offer free consultations and they will be better suited to discuss the intricacies of your case.