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West Virginia Asset Protection Laws

Filed under Running A Business.

These assets are exempted from a state court or bankruptcy proceeding in West Virginia.

Homestead: Real or personal property, including co-op, used as residence, up to $25,000.

Pensions and Retirement Benefits: ERISA-qualified plans. Funds exempt for public employees. IRA exemptions for conventional, Roth, SEP and SIMPLE plans. IRAs limited to amounts that are necessary for the support of the debtor and his dependents. Roth IRAs and regular IRAs up to $1,245,000 per person. Warning: No protection for IRAs that are established by an "insider" of the debtor. This provision could eliminate the protection otherwise offered to small business owners by SEP and SIMPLE plans.

Insurance: Life insurance payments from policy of person who supported debtor, needed for support. Unmatured life insurance if debtor owns policy and insured is debtor or person who supports debtor up to $8,000. Group life insurance policy or proceeds. Health or disability benefits. Fraternal society benefits.

Personal Property: Animals, crops, clothing, appliances, books, furnishings, musical instruments up to $400 per item, $8,000 total. Burial plot to $25,000, in lieu of homestead. Payment for lost earnings. Motor vehicle up to $2,400. Jewelry up to $1,000. Personal injury recoveries up to $15,000 (excluding pain and suffering). Wrongful death recoveries needed for support.

Tools of Trade: Tools and implements up to $1,500.

Miscellaneous: Business partnership property. Alimony. Child support.

Wages: Greater of 80% of wages or 30 times federal minimum hourly wage.

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

Wild Card: $800 of any property. Unused portion of homestead or burial exemption for any property.

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