21 January 2015

Potential Good News for Virginia

H/T to local attorney Edrie Pfeiffer who let me know of Virginia General Assembly HB 2015 (link to full text here).

Virginia's exemption laws are notoriously parsimonious. Since biblical times, all legal-political orders have provided that some of a debtor's assets are free from seizure by creditors. (For an analysis of the biblical evidence for exemption laws, read my five-part(!) series here, here, here, here, and here.) 

In America, each state sets its own exemptions. Some, likely putatively-conservative Texas, are extraordinarily generous, permitting debtors of substantial means to thumb their noses at folks they don't wish to pay. Others, like Virginia, permit the destitute to keep very little in the face of unpaid debts.

HB 2015 would expand--very slightly--what folks in Virginia may keep. Most significantly, spousal support would be free from collection by creditors. As the law now stand, creditors may in effect garnish support due a divorced spouse. Hardly a family-friendly state of affairs.

In addition, instead of one firearm worth up to $3,000, poor debtors could keep any number of firearms so long as their collective value does not exceed $3,000. This change would block efforts by an unscrupulous debtor who at the last minute decides to go out an buy a single high-end weapon simply to protect himself from a collecting creditor.

And, instead of a single car worth up to $6,000, HB 2015 would permit debtors to keep more than one vehicle so long as their collective value remains under the $6,000 cap. This certainly makes sense for a married couple who both need cars to commute to work or schlep kids around.

Virginia exemptions laws will remain at the low end of such matters even with these changes. Unlike the laws of Texas and Florida, these exemptions will not let deadbeats game the system, Instead, they will permit the poorest among us to keep a modicum of what is needed to continue to function and support themselves and their families.

For the Virginians among my readers, please contact you local Delegate and urge him or her to support HB 2015.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing information about this slight improvement to Virginia's extremely limited exemption system.