Bankruptcy Exemptions


The Bankruptcy exemptions (Federal or State Exemptions) details the property you can exempt or protect from creditors. You may exempt any property that falls into one of the exemptions categories up to the dollar amount listed. You will be able to kept this exempted property after you file bankruptcy. Please note that there are certain debts which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy, (see Non-dischargeable Debts)

In Texas, you also have the choice of using the federal exemption statutes instead of your Texas exemptions. An exemption limit applies to any equity you have in the property. Equity is the difference between the value of the property and what is owed on the property. For example, a car valued at $5000 with a loan of $4500 has an equity value of only $500.

If the property is secured by a loan, such as a car or home, and you are current on the payments, the equity is covered by your exemptions, and you elect to keep making payments on the loan you generally can keep this property through the bankruptcy. If all the equity is not covered by your exemptions the trustee may elect to liquidate this asset and distribute the assets.

Generally, in this case, you would be entitled to the value of your exemption in the asset as a cash payment. Bankruptcy law allows married couples filing jointly to each claim a full set of exemptions, unless otherwise noted.

To keep non-exempt property, a debtor must generally pay the trustee the value of the non-exempt property. You also may use certain federal exemptions in addition to your Texas exemptions.


Debtors may elect to choose the exemption scheme set out in the Section 522 of the Bankruptcy Code. The exemptions are set out as follows:


Interest up to $18,450.00 in real or personal property used as a residence. Double this amount for joint debtors

2. PERSONAL PROPERTY (Double the amount for joint filers)

One motor vehicle not to exceed $2,950.00 in equity

Household items, clothing, jewelry, books, animals, appliances etc up to $450.00 per item with a maximum value of $9,850.00

Jewelry up to $1,000.00 in value.

implements and tools of a trade or profession up to $1,500.00

Life insurance benefits

Social Security and retirement benefits

Injury Benefits of various types

Alimony and Child Support

FEDERAL “WILD CARD” §522(d)(5) The Debtor may exempt any property interest up to $925.00 in value plus up to $9,250.00 in unused real estate equity.


1. REAL ESTATEA. Urban Homestead of ten acres or rural homestead of 200 acres for a family or 100 acres for a single person.

Unlimited value.

B. .Cemetery Plots. Unlimited value


The following are exempt up to sixty thousand dollars for a family or thirty thousand
dollars for a single person.

A. Unpaid personal service commissions (up to 25% of the 60K or 30K cap)
B. Home Furnishings
C. Provisions for consumption
D. Farming and Ranching Vehicles and Implements
E. Trade or Business Tools and Vehicles
F. Clothing
G. Jewelry (up to 25% of the 60K or 30K cap)
H. Firearms (2)
I. Athletic and Sporting Equipment
J. Personal Motor Vehicles for each member of the family
K. Animals and Livestock (certain numerical limitations apply depending on type of animal)