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District of Columbia Asset Protection Laws

Filed under Asset Protection Strategies. Fact checked on April 22, 2012.

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These assets are exempted from a state court or bankruptcy proceeding in District of Columbia.

Homestead: None. However, real property held by married couples as tenancy by the entirety may be exempt against debts owed by one spouse.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits: Funds exempted for teachers and judges. Roth IRAs and regular IRAs up to $1,245,000 per person.

Insurance: Life insurance if proceeds cannot be used to pay creditors. Group life insurance. Life insurance proceeds payable to other than insured. Other insurance proceeds to $200 per month, maximum 2 months, for head of family; otherwise $60 per month. Fraternal society benefits. Disability benefits.

Personal Property: Cooking utensils, stoves, furniture, furnishings, radios and sewing machines up to $425, $8,625 total. Books up to $400. Clothing up to $300. Cooperative association holdings up to $50. Residential condominium deposit. Food and fuel for 3 months. Motor vehicle up to $2,575.

Tools of Trade: If head of household, $1,625 in tools of trade for debtor's business. For all others, $200 in mechanic's tools or notary seal/official documents; $300 in library, office, furniture, implements of professional or artist. For head of household debtors, one horse or mule, one cart/wagon or tray and harness, or $500 in one motor vehicle used principally by debtor in trade/business.

Miscellaneous: Business partnership property.

Wages: Greater of 75% of weekly wages or excess of disposable wages over 30 times federal minimum hourly wage.

Public Benefits: Unemployment compensation. Workers' compensation. Aid to blind, aged, disabled. AFDC. Crime victim's compensation. General assistance.

Wild Card: None.

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