If we file bankruptcy, will we lose our homeschooling books, computer, and software we use to teach our children?

Maybe, and I hate this answer.

I cannot protect a computer or printer or software under the Utah exemptions unless I can claim that the computer and related items are professional implements or tools of the trade you use in your business.  And no, although homeschooling feels like a full-time job, it is not employment that generates income for you, and I cannot use a “tools of the trade” exemption to protect the computer.

However, most people’s computers and software have virtually no value on the open market, and they are not items that generally interest a bankruptcy trustee because of the difficulty of resale and the massive, rapid depreciation those items suffer the moment you buy them.

So unless you have a truly wonderful, state-of-the-art computer system, you won’t lose it, because it’s not worth enough to the bankruptcy trustee.

As for the books, Utah Code Ann. 787B-5-506(1)(c)  protects up to $1,000 of books.

78B-5-506. Value of exempt property — Exemption of implements, professional books, tools, and motor vehicles.
(1) An individual is entitled to exemption of the following property up to an aggregate value of items in each subsection of $1,000:
(a) sofas, chairs, and related furnishings reasonably necessary for one household;
(b) dining and kitchen tables and chairs reasonably necessary for one household;
(c) animals, books, and musical instruments, if reasonably held for the personal use of the individual or the individual’s dependents;

It is a pretty easy argument to make that those books are “reasonably held for the personal use of … the individual’s dependents.”

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