What exactly gets exempted?

The question in Peake v. Ayobami was whether a bankruptcy debtor, who asserts a 100% exemption as to a particular estate asset, is asserting that exemption as to the asset itself or its value. The practical consequence is whether “claiming a 100% interest in an asset as exempt allows the debtor to ‘walk away’ with the asset itself and potentially benefit from any post-petition appreciation of it.” The Fifth Circuit gave a limited answer, noting that the statute allows the debtor to claim “a 100% interest in an asset,” and also noting Supreme Court precedent that expressed skepticism about whether a debtor could use this ability to get clear title to a valuable asset, but not providing an ultimate answer to the question. Ni. 16-20589 (Jan. 3, 2018).

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