Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Statutory Personal Property Exemption Allowed Despite Amendment

In the case of In re: Laura Martias, Case 07-20488-BKC-PGH, Bankruptcy Court adopted a permissive approach and allowed the debtor to amend  her schedule of exemptions in schedule c and her statement of intention.

The Court relied on the case of In re Shoopman, Case No. 07-19450-BKC-PGH which held that section 222.25(4) set forth a bright-line test to determine if a debtor is eligible to exempt up to $4000 worth of personal property. This statues allows a debtor to claim $4000 statutory personal property exemption if debtor does not claim constitutional homestead exemption or does not otherwise receive the benefits of the constitutional homestead exemption. The Court in adopting a permissive approach to allow amendments at any time before case closed held that it held no  iscretion to deny amendments to claim of exemptions unless there is a showing of bad faith or prejudice to creditor.