This is a question that requires an in-depth analysis and consultation with OSBIG, as the answer will depend on the specific circumstances of each person.
In Michigan, Debtors have a choice to protect certain assets utilizing Federal Exemptions or Michigan Exemptions, if applicable. Following are some basic examples of the maximum allowed exemptions as of April 1, 2019.
- Equity in Personal Residence: $25,150.00 (unused portion up to $11,850.00 or Homestead Exemption may be applied to any property –additional “wild card” exemption)
- Equity in Motor Vehicle: $4,000.00
- Household Furnishings: $13,400.00
- Jewelry: $1,700.00
- Wildcard: $1,325.00*
- Tools of Trade: $2,525.00.
- Unmatured Life Insurance Policies: unlimited
- Life Insurance with cash value: $13,400.00
- Professional Prescribed Health Aids: unlimited
- Maximum IRA Limit: $1,362,800.00
The Michigan Exemptions provide an unlimited exemption of entireties property** for those married Debtors who do not have any joint debt. The Michigan Exemptions also offer generous Homestead exemptions, $40,475.00 of equity in a home, and if you are a senior citizen or disabled the Homestead exemptions rises to $60,725.00. Generally, the Federal Exemptions are best for individuals who have less equity in their home or are not eligible for the entireties exemption, or who have less than $1,362,800 in their IRA. There is no limit to the amount of money in an IRA that may be exempt under state law.
*Aggregate interest in any property, not to exceed $1,325.00 plus up to $12,575.00 of unused amount of homestead exemption under Section 522(d)(1).
** “Entireties Property” is certain property that is owned jointly by a husband and wife that is not attachable by individual creditors of either spouse.]