If a creditor gets a judgment against you and tries to take your property or wages in order to get paid, you may be able to protect your property by using exemptions. All states have "exempted" certain types of property from collection, such as equity in a home or car, food, or basic living necessities. If you are in danger of losing property or wages to a creditor, it's important to understand what property might be exempt and how to claim that exemption. In addition, in some cases other laws protect your assets (for example, the anti-alientation clause in ERISA retirement accounts).
To learn more about when creditors can seize property and wages, see our area on Debt Collection: Repossession, Wage Garnishment, Liens, Levies, and More.