Exemptions

Bankruptcy Exemptions

In a Chapter 7 proceeding, certain assets will be considered exempt – meaning that they will not be sold to pay off debts. Exemptions are determined by the state where you have been domiciled. “Domicile” in this sense means the state where you lived. The key time period is the 730 days (2 years) immediately before the date you file your petition. If you have lived in the same state for the last 2 years before filing, that will be your domicile for exemptions. If you have lived in more than one state in those 730 days (2 years):

  • Look back 2 years before you filed
  • Look back 6 months further
  • What state did you live in the majority of those 6 months?
  • That’s your exemption state!

Both the Federal Government and the State of Texas have defined exempt assets, and you and your attorney will make a choice between the two.

Texas Exemptions

Homestead, subject to purchase money, improvements, tax lien and consisting of:

  • Not more than ten urban acres; or
  • Not more than 100 rural acres (200 acres for a family)
  • Not more than $125,000.00 in equity that was acquired within 1215 days prior to the filing of bankruptcy

Personal Property:

  • Without limit
    • All current wages
    • IRA’s and most retirement plans
    • Prescribed health aids
  • The following not to exceed $30,000.00 ($60,000.00 for a family)
    • Unpaid commission of $7,500.00 for a single person / $15,000.00 for a family
    • Home furnishings
    • Provisions for consumption
    • Tools of the trade including boats and motor vehicles
    • Clothing
    • Jewelry up to $7,500.00 ($15,000.00 for a family)
    • Two firearms
    • Athletic and Sporting equipment (including bicycles)
    • Motor vehicles, one for each licensed driver and person who must rely on a licensed driver for transportation
    • Certain livestock
    • Household pets
    • Present value of any Life Insurance Policy

Unlimited insurance benefits and case value

Proceeds to be paid under compensation laws including unemployment, workers compensation and crime victim benefit

Texas Tomorrow Fund

Note: Personal property may not be converted from non-exempt to exempt in an effort to defraud creditors.

Federal Exemptions (per debtor)

  • $18,450 in value for real or personal property used as a residence.
  • Up to $2,950 in equity in any one motor vehicle.
  • Up to $475 in value in any particular item of household furnishings, or wearing apparel, up to a total of $9,850
  • Up to $1 ,225 in jewelry held for personal use
  • Up to $1,850 in tools of the trade
  • Any un-matured life insurance contract you own, except for a credit life insurance contract
  • The right to received certain support and disability payments
  • Any property not otherwise protected in an amount not to exceed $975 plus any unused amount of the $9,250 in (1) above