Attorney Carla M. HandyIt seems fitting to write about the potential to improve the exemptions laws of the State of Alabama on the day we celebrate one of the finest hours in our great country’s history, Independence Day.  No matter how often we seem to get in our own way, our country has been successfully built upon the basic dream of its citizens to have a better life.  Right now in the State of Alabama a committee formed of our public officials is considering the needed reform of the Alabama Constitution of 1901.   In my opinion, a constitution this old cannot adequately protect the rights and interests of its citizens and reform is most certainly needed.

The section of the Alabama Constitution currently under review is exemptions for real and personal propertyAn exemption is simply the value of certain property that state or federal law says, no matter what, no creditor can get to.  The real property exemption in Alabama is called the homestead exemption.  The homestead exemption protects a specified amount of the value of a person’s home and currently is $5,000.00 for each individual who is an owner of the personal residence.  The personal property exemption under Alabama law protects property other than real estate and some examples would include personal clothing, wages, household good and furnishings, and bank accounts. The personal property exemption in Alabama is $3,000.00 per person.

As you can see the exemption amounts for a person’s home and personal property is woefully low in Alabama.  That is why the Constitutional Reform Commission’s work is critically important for Alabama citizens.  The Commission will take up the review of Alabama’s current exemption laws on August 8, 2013 in Room 617 of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Alabama.  The Commission is considering increasing the Alabama homestead exemption to $25,000.00 and increasing the personal property exemption to $10,000.00.  Members of the Commission can be found here.  Please contact one of the members of the Constitutional Reform Commission or your own state legislator and let them know how important it is to improve the lives of Alabama citizens by increasing Alabama exemption laws.

Exemptions, and the claiming thereof, can be an extremely important part of any bankruptcy filing and why it is a good idea to seek advice from a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can insure you receive the benefit of all protection provided under the Bankruptcy Code.  If you are considering a filing for bankruptcy relief and wish to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney about your options, please contact one of our locations nearest you in Alabama, Mississippi or Tennessee for a free, confidential consultation.

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