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Virginia 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 Virginia.

Homestead: Real property up to $5,000 plus $500 per dependent. May include rents and profits, and mobile home. Sale proceeds exempt to $5,000. Husband and wife may double. Surviving spouse up to $15,000. Unused portion of homestead may be applied to any personal property. Must file homestead exemption before bankruptcy filing. Property owned in tenancy by the entirety exempt against claims of one spouse.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits: ERISA-qualified plans, limited to $25,000 income per year. Funds exempt for judges and city, town, county and state employees. IRA exemptions for conventional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE plans. IRAs subject to above total $25,000 income limitation, and no protection for contributions made during current year, and prior two years.

Insurance: Group life insurance policy or proceeds. Group life or accident insurance for government officials. Fraternal society benefits. Accident or sickness benefits. Burial society benefits. Cooperative life insurance benefits. Industrial sickness benefits.

Personal Property: Only a householder can exempt any personal property. Bible. Burial plot. Clothing up to $1,000. Family portraits and heirlooms up to $5,000 total. Health aids. Household furnishings up to $5,000. Motor vehicle up to $6,000. Personal injury causes of action and recoveries. Pets. Wedding and engagement rings.

Tools of Trade: Horses, 2 mules with gear, wagon or cart, tractor up to $3,000, 2 plows, drag, harvest cradle, pitchfork, rake, 2 iron wedges, fertilizer up to $1,000, all growing crops for farmer/householder. For other, up to $10,000 including motor vehicles of householder, military uniforms, arms and equipment.

Miscellaneous: Business partnership property.

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

Public Benefits: Unemployment benefits. Workers' compensation. Aid to blind, aged and disabled. AFDC. General relief. Crime victim's compensation unless seeking to discharge debt for treatment of injury incurred during crime.

Wild Card: Unused portion of homestead, for any personal property. $10,000 of any property for disabled veterans who are householders.

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