Federal Exemptions in Bankruptcy

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are the amounts allowed under the federal bankruptcy code and they are adjusted every three years ending on April 1 to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. The federal bankruptcy exemptions were last adjusted in 2016.

If you are married and filing jointly, you may double all of the federal bankruptcy exemptions. For example, you may claim a homestead exemption of $47,350 (which is double the listed homestead exemption amount of $23,675).

If, in the code, a dollar amount is not listed the entire value of the property is exempt.

All code references are to 11 U.S.C. (Title 11 of the United States Code).

Homestead

522(d)(1), (5) – Real property, including mobile homes and co-ops, or burial plots up to $23,675. Unused portion of homestead, up to $11,850 may be used for other property.

Personal Property

522(d)(2) – Motor vehicle up to $3,775.

522(d)(3) – Animals, crops, clothing, appliances and furnishings, books, household goods, and musical instruments up to $600 per item, and up to $12,625 total.

522(d)(4) – Jewelry up to $1,600.

522(d)(9) – Health aids.

522(d)(11)(B) – Wrongful death recovery for person you depended upon.

522(d)(11)(D) – Personal injury recovery up to $23,675 except for pain and suffering or for pecuniary loss.

522(d)(11)(E) – Lost earnings payments.

Pensions

522(b)(3)(C) – Tax exempt retirement accounts (including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined benefit plans).

522(b)(3)(C)(n) – IRAS and Roth IRAs to $1,283,025.

Public Benefits

522(d)(10)(A) – Public assistance, Social Security, Veteran’s benefits, Unemployment Compensation.

522(d)(11)(A) – Crime victim’s compensation.

Tools of Trade

522(d)(6) – Implements, books and tools of trade, up to $2,375.

Alimony and Child Support

522(d)(10)(D) – Alimony and child support needed for support.

Insurance

522(d)(7) – Un-matured life insurance policy except credit insurance.

522(d)(8) – Life insurance policy with loan value up to $12,625.

522(d)(10)( C ) – Disability, unemployment or illness benefits.

522(d)(11)( C ) – Life insurance payments for a person you depended on, which you need for support.

Wildcard

522(d)(5) – $1,250 of any property, and unused portion of homestead up to $11,850.