At the end of 2010, Governor Patterson signed a new bill into law which set realistic limits on the current levels of exemption values which will reflect today’s values and households and bring New York State into accord with other states exemption statutes. This law will be a welcome face lift to the current Debtor Creditor statutes and the Civil Practice Law and Rules!
Effective January 22, 2011, New York State will increase the exemption amounts and real property values from the satisfaction of money judgments and for those who file for bankruptcy protection. Moreover, these values will be periodically subject to cost of living adjustments. No longer will individuals have to rely on state exemption limits; the new law provides individuals with the right to opt out and use federal exemptions values. Listed below are a few examples of the new exemption limits; the homestead exemption has increased from $50,000 to $75,000 and up to $150,000, depending on the county where the real property is located. The motor vehicle exemption has increased from $2,400 to $4,000 and in the case of a vehicle equipped for use by a disabled person the exemption level increases to $10,000. The value of books increased from $50 to $500; watch, jewelry, and art, from $35 to $1000; tools of the trade from $600 to $3000;domestic animals and necessary food has increased from $450 to $1000; cash from $2500 to $5000. Finally the law will increase the amount of the aggregate individual bankruptcy exemption from $5000 to $10,000.
The law will also incorporate more modern household property into the exemption statutes. For example, computers and associated equipment, cell phones, home heating equipment, portraits, religious texts, and prescribed health aids.