Debtor FAQ – Can I Keep My Stuff?

free stuff

A debtor entitled to Mississippi exemptions may retain certain tangible personal property, not to exceed $10,000.00 in cumulative value:

1. HOUSEHOLD GOODS. “Household goods” includes clothing, furniture, appliances, one (1) radio, one (1) television, one (1) firearm, one (1) lawn mower, linens, china, crockery, kitchenware and personal effects (including wedding rings) of the debtor or dependents; however, works of art and items acquired as antiques are not “household goods.”

Personal observation: I wonder if anyone owns a “radio” these days. If so, what is it worth? Could you give it away? Maybe the TuneIn Radio or Pandora App converts an iPhone or computer into a radio. Let’s hope so, because under Mississippi law a computer may not be exempt.  Also, the term “crockery” did not evoke a clear image in my mind, so I queried an online dictionary and found that I was not alone in my ignorance. Another web dictionary user felt the need to comment on the definition:

[M]y roommate’s doing her homework and we wanted to know if a mug counted as crockery. I didn’t even know this was a word, but I plan on using it whenever I see a hideous china set: “What is this crockery?”

Now the word “crockery” brings to mind dishes my grandmother got with Green Stamps or pulled from a box of laundry detergent.

2. WEARING APPAREL.

3. BOOKS.

4. ANIMALS OR CROPS.
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5. MOTOR VEHICLES. The Mississippi exemption statute does not define a “motor vehicle.” Certainly cars and trucks you see traveling on roads are included.  The Northern District Bankruptcy Court (Hon. Neil P. Olack) examined the definition of motor vehicle under other Mississippi statutory provisions, including Miss. Code Ann. §63-3-103 (Motor Vehicle and Traffic Regulation-Definitions), Miss. Code Ann. §27-19-3 (Motor Vehicle Privilege Taxes-Definitions) and Miss. Code Ann. §27-19-56 (License Plates) and found that a motorcycle is a “motor vehicle” under the Mississippi exemption scheme. In re Clemons, 441 B.R. 519 (Bankr. N.D. Miss. 2010).   The broadest interpretation of “motor vehicle” is predictably found in Miss. Code Ann. §27-19-3, which includes all vehicles subject to privilege tax. Under this broad definition, hauling trailers, including boat trailers, are “motor vehicles.”   “Electric personal assistance mobility devices” are specifically excluded.

6. IMPLEMENTS.

Personal observation: I don’t know what this means.

7. PROFESSIONAL BOOKS OR TOOLS OF THE TRADE.   

Personal observation: I cannot conceive of a profession or job for which a basic computer would not be a “tool of the trade.”

8. CASH ON HAND.   What is cash on hand?

9. PROFESSIONALLY PRESCRIBED HEALTH AIDS.

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Personal observation: I’ve been a trustee for almost 10 years and I have seen debtors arrive at §341 meetings in wheel chairs and I have observed debtors with prosthetic limbs and portable oxygen machines, but I have never reviewed a set of schedules that included those items as assets on Schedule B. Even so, I have never raised the issue.   A “professionally prescribed health aid” seems more like an extension of the person than a separate “asset” with value apart from the person.

10. ANY ITEM OF TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY WORTH LESS THAN $200.00 EACH. 

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WHAT A DEBTOR REALLY WANTS TO KNOW:

New Exemption 8-31 dropbox copy 2.018

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