The particular state exemptions that apply to a debtor is a different issue than the State where a person can file their bankruptcy petition. A person may be permitted to file in a particular state, but may not be permitted to apply the exemptions of the same state.
New Jersey permits a person to use all federal exemptions or all New Jersey state exemptions, but not both. A person cannot mix and match state and federal exemptions in a bankruptcy case filing, but rather must select all federal or all state exemptions.
If a person has lived in New Jersey for a period of 730 days prior to the bankruptcy filing, he may apply New Jersey law and use all New Jersey exemptions or all federal exemptions. However, if a person resides in New Jersey at the time of the filing, but has moved from another state into New Jersey within 730 days prior to the filing, the person must use the exemptions that are permitted by the state from where they moved.
Therefore, if a person moved from Florida, which only permits a debtor to use only Florida state exemptions, the person filing in New Jersey must apply Florida’s exemptions, which are limited. If a person moved from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, within 730 days prior to the filing, he must apply Pennsylvania law, which permits a debtor to use only Pennsylvania exemptions or only federal exemptions.
Please note if a state permits an individual to apply federal exemptions, the federal exemptions are the same in every state.
New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorney Robert Manchel can be contacted at 1 (866) 503-5655, to discuss your bankruptcy protection questions.