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District of Columbia Economy:

Washington has seen the job market increase by 1.8% over the last year. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 33.7%, which is higher than the US average of 33.5%.

Location of District of Columbia Bankruptcy Court:
US Bankruptcy Court
333 Constitution Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20001

District of Columbia Bankruptcy Exemptions:

Washington DC Homestead Exemption

The District of Columbia has a generous homestead exemption. You can protect all of the equity in your home or co-op as long as you or your dependents live there. (§ 15-501(1)(14).)

Washington DC Motor Vehicle Exemption

You can protect up to $2,575 of equity in a car, van, truck, SUV, motorcycle, or another motor vehicle. (§ 15-501(a)(1).)

Washington DC Wildcard Exemption

You can protect up to $850 in any property, plus up to an additional $8,075 if you don’t use the homestead exemption. (§ 15-501(a)(3).)

Other Bankruptcy Exemptions in Washington DC

  • Personal property. Appliances, books, clothing, household furnishings, goods, musical instruments, and pets, up to $425 per item and $8,625 total; cemetery and burial funds (§ 43-111); co-op holdings to $500 (§ 29-928); food for three months; health aids; higher education tuition savings account (§ 47-4510); condo deposit (§ 42-1904.09); family pictures; family library up to $400; pain and suffering recovery; uninsured motorist benefits (§ 31-2408.01(h)); wrongful death damages (§§ 15-501(a)(11), 16-2703)). (Unless otherwise stated, these exemptions are found in § 15-501(a).)
  • Tools of the trade. Library, furniture, tools of a professional or artist to $300; tools of your trade or business to $1,625; mechanic’s tools to $200; notary public’s seal and documents (§ 1-1206). (§ 15-501, unless otherwise noted.)
  • Wages. 75% of earned but unpaid wages and pension payments for up to two months; nonwage earnings (including pension and retirement payments) for the head of a family up to $200 per month for two months; if you’re not the head of the family, up to $60 per month for two months; payments for loss of future earnings. (§ 16-572.)
  • Pensions. Stock bonus, annuity, pension, or profit-sharing plan (§ 15-501(a)(7)); judges (§ 11-1570(f)); public school teachers (§§ 38-2001.17, 38-2021.17); police, firefighters and teachers retirement benefits (§ 1-911.03); tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined benefit plans; IRAS and Roth IRAs to currently allowed amount. Some accounts, such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined-benefit plans, are exempt under 11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C), as well. Learn more about retirement accounts in bankruptcy.
  • Public benefits. Aid to the blind, aged, and disabled (§ 4-215.01); crime victims’ compensation (§§ 4-507(e), 15-501(a)(11)); general assistance (§ 4-215.01); Social Security (§ 15-501(a)(7)); unemployment compensation (§ 51-118); veteran’s benefits (§ 15-501(a)(7)); workers’ compensation (§ 32-1517).
  • Insurance. Disability benefits (§§ 15-501(a)(7), 31-4716.01); fraternal benefit society benefits (§ 42-10-4); group life insurance policy or proceeds (§ 31-4717); life insurance payments (§ 15-501(a)(11)); life insurance proceeds if a provision in the contract states that the proceeds cannot be used to pay creditors (§ 31-4719); life insurance proceeds or avails (§ 31-4716); other insurance proceeds up to $200 per month for two months (head of family) and up to $60 per month for two months (non-head of family) (§ 15-503); unmatured life insurance contract, other than credit life insurance (§ 15-501(a)(5)).
  • Miscellaneous. Alimony or child support. (§ 15-501(a)(7).)

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