Can you protect my computer in bankruptcy if I use it for work?

Yes, if we can argue that it is a tool of your trade.

Today I received a phone call from a computer programmer/seo expert.  His employer had been cutting employee wages recently, and it was forcing him slowly into bankruptcy.  He asked me if I could protect his laptop and ipad.  Generally, no, I cannot, but it usually doesn’t matter because the personal electronics have a value is too small for a trustee to bother with selling them off to pay creditors.

However, in his situation, he used his laptop and ipad for work, and both items could be considered tools of his trade.  In Utah, the tools of the trade exemption protects up $5,000 of tools used in your work.  So in this situation, yes, I could protect them.

By the same argument, if you used the computer to keep the books for your self-employed business, I could also protect it as a tool you use in your trade.

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