Tools of the Trade

Under bankruptcy law, there are several different types of property that may be retained by a debtor through the bankruptcy process. Although each state has a specific designation as to what is considered exempt and non-exempt in terms of raising debt repayment funds, many states include special provisions for what are known as tools of the trade. In the state of Alabama, the law states that debtors may keep whatever tools of the trade are necessary to maintain their income.


For more information regarding what property you may be able to keep during a bankruptcy, contact a Birmingham bankruptcy lawyer from Greenway Bankruptcy Law, LLC, by calling (205) 324-4000.


What are Tools of the Trade?


Although the meaning of “tools of the trade” may seem obvious at first, it is a little more complicated in the eyes of the law. According to the law, tools of the trade only consist of those items absolutely necessary to successfully pursue a business. Consider the following tools of the trade:

  • Work vehicles used directly in the debtor’s business

  • Work uniforms and issued tools

  • Military uniforms and government-issued property

  • Machines or hand tools necessary for work

  • Computers necessary for business

  • Necessary work animals


According to the law, a tool of the trade is defined as something essential to the debtor’s business. As a result, the debtor’s line of work largely determines what is allowed to be retained. For a small business owner who works out of a home office, a basic computer may be required. However, a farmer may need to keep some large machines and vehicles to keep his or her business afloat.


Contact Us


To learn more about how the law can assist debtors in rebuilding their finances during bankruptcy, contact a Birmingham bankruptcy attorney from Greenway Bankruptcy Law, LLC, at (205) 324-4000 today.

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