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Illinois Woman Permitted to Keep Rare Book of Mormon in Bankruptcy

Posted on in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Illinois Woman Permitted to Keep Rare Book of Mormon in Bankruptcy

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, part of the process is the liquidation of your nonexempt assets to come up with money to pay off your creditors. These assets are those that are not essential to your daily living or working needs. In some cases, disputes arise regarding whether an item should or should not be exempt from the liquidation process.

This came up fairly recently in a case from Illinois. Recently, the court ruled that a woman who had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy could keep her rare copy of the Book of Mormon. The book was published in 1830 and worth tens of thousands of dollars as a historical piece. She was permitted to keep it because under Illinois law, bibles and other religious texts are exempt from the items that may be sold to satisfy a filer's debt. This ruling came after her case's trustee requested permission from the court to sell the book, stating that she had other copies of the text available to use as worship aids. But the court found that the book could be exempt because of its personal value to the woman, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Which Items are Exempt?

Generally, items that the filer needs for his or her everyday life are exempt from being liquidated in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. These items include:

  • The filer's home or equity in it;
  • Clothing that is deemed necessary, such as work uniforms and undergarments;
  • Motor vehicles under a certain value, if deemed to be necessary for the filer to get back and forth to his or her job;
  • Compensation the filer is entitled to receive through a personal injury claim;
  • Tools that the filer uses to perform his or her job, such as a carpentry set or a sewing machine;
  • Jewelry, up to a certain value point;
  • Household appliances;
  • The filer's pension;
  • Wages and public benefits that the filer receives; and
  • Household furnishings, as deemed necessary.

Family heirlooms and other sentimental objects are not exempt unless they are also used to perform the filer's job, such as a musical instrument if the filer is a professional musician. Other personal items that may be liquidated to satisfy an individual's debt in a bankruptcy case include vacation homes, recreational vehicles, electronics, and investment accounts.

Work with an Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are facing bankruptcy, do not file your claim alone. Instead, work with an experienced Illinois bankruptcy attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your rights and interests at every step. Our team of bankruptcy attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP can help you with your case by providing you with valuable advice and guidance toward the best choices for your case. Contact our firm today to schedule your free legal consultation with a member of our team.

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