In the typical Chapter 13, the debtor keeps all of his property, exempt or not.
So why does a Chapter 13 debtor select exemptions just as in Chapter 7?
The measure of what you pay in 13
Exemptions in 13 are used to determine whether amount to be paid through the plan complies with one of the Chapter 13 confirmation tests.
Thus, to apply the test, the Chapter 13 trustee calculates what property would be available for liquidation to pay creditors after the exemptions are deducted from the assets if the case were a Chapter 7.
The more of your stuff that is protected by an exemption, the less there is to be distributed to creditors in that hypothetical Chapter 7 case.
In fact, most individual bankruptcy cases are “no asset” cases, where the debtor keeps everything.
Best efforts test
The other test for confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan looks to whether the debtor is giving the plan his “best efforts”.
That test looks at the income available to fund the plan, as measured by the means test.
Image courtesy of Flickr and Sushi♥ina