If you decide to file for bankruptcy in North Carolina, you can keep personal property and other items to assist in a fresh financial start. These items, called exemptions, apply to individuals who live in the state for at least 730 days before filing for bankruptcy.

Review the common North Carolina bankruptcy exemptions if you have debt you cannot afford to pay.

Homestead exemption

You can retain up to $35,000 in equity in your primary home or $70,000 if you and your spouse own the home and file for bankruptcy together. You can claim a $60,000 home equity exemption if you are 65 or older. You can also divert the amount of this exemption to protect burial plots.

Additional exemptions

You can keep a motor vehicle valued at up to $3,500 if you owned the car for at least 90 days at the time of the bankruptcy filing. North Carolina allows up to $5,000 in personal property exemptions plus another $1,000 per dependent to a total maximum of $9,000. This category includes books, appliances, furniture, clothing, decor, appliances and other household items.

You can also retain wrongful death or personal injury compensation, health devices, up to $25,000 in eligible education savings accounts, and up to $2,000 in tools, books and other items you use for your profession.

Unlike in some states, North Carolina residents who file for bankruptcy cannot use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. If you lived in another state within the past 730 days, the court will apply that state’s rules for exempt property.