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Texas Bankruptcy Exemptions

What Exemptions are allowed when filing bankruptcy in Texas?

Below is a list of some of the available Texas bankruptcy exemptions . This list only identifies a small fraction of the exemptions available in Texas and there are many exemptions (such as retirement accounts, life insurance, and trade tools) that are not listed and may be beneficial to you. Talk to a qualified Texas bankruptcy attorney in your area to have all the available exemptions explained to you. Only a Texas bankruptcy attorney can properly list and explain all of the applicable exemptions offered in Texas.

Texas Bankruptcy Exemptions

The State of Texas has both federal and state bankruptcy exemptions available for those filing bankruptcy.

There is property that you can exempt or protect from creditors when you file bankruptcy. You have the option of utilizing the state or federal exemptions. After filing for bankruptcy, this property is safe. Be aware that there are certain debts, which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy. These are non-dischargeable debts.

There are some limits on certain exemptions such as equity that you have in a home or in a vehicle. The difference between the cost of the item and the amount owed on the item is the definition of equity. If the item, such as home or vehicle, secured by a loan and payments are made on time, the equity is protected by your exemptions. A debtor must generally pay the trustee the value of the non-exempt property to keep the property. If you choose to keep the property, continual timely payments ensure that the property is protected through the bankruptcy.

This is a list of some of the available exemption in the State of Texas. You can obtain and more detailed list of exemptions by contacting a qualified Texas bankruptcy attorney in your area. They will be able to list and explain all of the state and federal exemptions. There is certain property, which is excluded or exempt that the debtor can keep based on their specific situation and personal income.

The best way to determine which exemptions to utilize is to meet with a qualified and proven bankruptcy attorney which can evaluate your individual case and guide you through the process. Contact an attorney today.

State Exemptions

  1. Homestead: Unlimited, although, property cannot exceed 10 acres in town, village, city or 100 acres elsewhere (200 per family). Sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after sale. Renting is okay if another home not acquired. Must file homestead declaration or court will file it for you and charge you a fee.
  2. Pensions:
    1. Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, defined benefit plans, and profit sharing and money purchase plans.
    2. Traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,095,000 per person
    3. ERISA qualified benefits, government or church benefits, including Keoghs and IRAs.
    4. Law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel survivors
    5. Municipal employees and elected officials, state employees
    6. Retirement benefits to extent tax-deferred
    7. County and district employees
    8. Firefighters
    9. Judges
    10. Police officers
    11. Teachers
  3. Insurance:
    1. Texas employee uniform group insurance
    2. Texas state college or university employee benefits
    3. Texas public school employees' group insurance
    4. Life, health, accident, or annuity benefits, monies, policy proceeds, and cash value, due or paid to beneficiary or insured
    5. Fraternal benefit society benefits
    6. Church benefit plan benefits
  4. Miscellaneous:
    1. Property of business partnership
    2. Alimony and child support
    3. Higher education savings plan trust account
    4. Liquor licenses and permits
  5. Personal Property:
    1. Includes items below up to $60,000 total for family, or $30,000 for single adult
    2. Clothing and food
    3. Two firearms
    4. Health aids (exempt from total)
    5. Burial plots (exempt from total)
    6. Health savings account
    7. Athletic and sporting equipment, including bicycles
    8. Home furnishings
    9. Family heirlooms
    10. Jewelry (no more than 25% of total exemption)
    11. Pets, domestic animals, and their food: two horses, mules, donkeys, and tack
    12. Twelve head of cattle
    13. Sixty head of other livestock
    14. One hundred twenty fowl
    15. One motor vehicle per family member or per single adult who holds a driver's license; or if not licensed, who relies on someone else to operate vehicle. Vehicle can be two, three, or four wheeled.
  6. Public Benefits:
    1. Unemployment compensation
    2. Workers' compensation
    3. Crime victims' compensation
    4. Medical assistance
    5. Public assistance
  7. Tools of Trade:
    1. Tools, equipment, boat or motor vehicle used in trade, and books
    2. Farming or ranching vehicles and implements
  8. Wages:
    1. Earned but unpaid wages
    2. Unpaid commissions not to exceed 25% of total personal property exemptions
  9. Wildcard: None

Federal Exemptions

See the State Bankruptcy Exemptions page of this site to see some basic information about the federal bankruptcy exemptions available to Texans who file bankruptcy.

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