Who qualifies for the North Carolina exemptions in bankruptcy?

The content on this site discusses the North Carolina exemptions at length. The vast majority of bankruptcy cases filed in North Carolina claim exemptions under North Carolina state law.

If a person has resided in North Carolina for the 730 days prior to the date on which the bankruptcy was filed, the person is eligible to claim North Carolina exemptions. The federal bankruptcy exemptions (11 U.S.C. 522(d)) are not available to a resident of North Carolina.

If a person has not resided in North Carolina for that 730 day period, then one looks to the 180 day period prior that 730 day period. Roughly speaking, this is the period of time between 2.5 years and 2 year prior to the bankruptcy being filed. Of all the places the person has resided in that 180 day period, whichever state he or she resided in the longest is the state for exemption purposes. Depending on that state, that state's exemptions might be available, or the federal exemptions might be available or required.

For a person who has moved around the United States some over the last few years, which exemptions apply can be an important pre-bankruptcy planning consideration. Sometimes, the timing of the filing can be used to choose a set of exemptions for the bankruptcy case. Rarely can bright-line statements that one set of exemptions is better than another. Any one person's collection of property may fit one exemption scheme better than another.

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