If there is a judgment against you, you still get to keep some things protected against collection.
There are two choices in Pennsylvania - you can take the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions or you can take the State Exemptions (plus any Federal non-bankruptcy exemptions). You can't take them both, so you have to choose..
Marvin Wolf can help you choose the exemption scheme that is right for your situation. Non-lawyers are not permitted to give this type of advice.
ADVANTAGES OF STATE EXEMPTIONS:
State exemptions may sometimes be better at protecting some pension or retirement income, or annuities.
You can protect public benefits, business partnership property, and if one spouse files, tenancy by the entirety property.
ADVANTAGES OF FEDERAL EXEMPTIONS:
Federal exemptions may be better to protect the value in a home.
For jointly owned property, both husband and wife can take the exemption, therefore, doubling it.
You can look back and recover some payments already made to creditors.
You can protect some future income you have not yet received, such as tax refunds.
You can protect some of the value of a car.
You get two wildcard exemptions that you can apply to just about anything, if the main exemption is insufficient.
You can keep some jewelry and furs
You can protect security deposits and cash in bank accounts.
The amount you can protect is automatically adjusted every three years.
You can protect household furniture and other household goods
You can protect the cash surrender value in life insurance policies.
You can protect some of the amount of a personal injurty recovery.