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New York Bankruptcy Exemptions

What Exemptions are allowed when filing bankruptcy in New York?

Below is a list of some of the available New York bankruptcy exemptions . This list only identifies a small fraction of the exemptions available in New York 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 New York bankruptcy attorney in your area to have all the available exemptions explained to you. Only a New York bankruptcy attorney can properly list and explain all of the applicable exemptions offered in New York.

New York Bankruptcy Exemptions

The State of New York does not allow its residents to use the Federal bankruptcy exemptions.

There is property that can be exempted or protected from creditors when you file bankruptcy. You have the option of utilizing the exemptions provided by the state. 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 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.

This is a list of some of the available exemption in the State of New York. You can obtain a more detailed list of exemptions by contacting a qualified New York bankruptcy attorney in your area. They will be able to explain all of the state exemptions.

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.



Real property, including condos, co-ops or mobile home up to $50,000


  • 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. Traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,095,000
  • ERISA-qualified benefits, IRAs, Roth IRAs and Keoghs and income needed for support
  • State employees
  • Teachers
  • Public retirement benefits
  • Village police officers
  • Volunteer ambulance workers' benefits
  • Volunteer firefighters' benefits


  • Property of business partnership
  • Alimony and/or child support needed for day-to-day expenses

Personal Property:

  • Bible, schoolbooks and other books to $50
  • Pictures, clothing, church pew or seat
  • Sewing machine
  • Refrigerator
  • TV and radio
  • Furniture, cooking utensils, tableware and dishes
  • Food to last 60 days
  • Stoves with fuel to last 60 days
  • Domestic animals with food to last 60 days
  • Wedding ring
  • Watch up to $435
  • Above exemptions may not exceed $5,000
  • Burial plot, without structure, to 1/4 acre
  • College tuition savings program trust fund
  • Health aids, including service animals with food
  • Motor vehicle up to $2,400
  • Cash to $2,500, or up to $5,000 after exemptions for personal property taken, whichever amount is less (for debtors who do not claim homestead)
  • Lost future earnings recoveries needed for support
  • Savings and loan savings to $600
  • Personal injury recoveries up to 1 year after receiving
  • Recovery for injury to exempt property up to 1 year after receiving
  • Security deposit to landlord, utility company
  • Wrongful death recoveries for person you needed for support
  • Spendthrift trust fund principal, 90% of income if not created by debtor

Public Benefits:

  • Crime victims' compensation
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Workers compensation
  • Veterans benefits
  • Social Security
  • Public assistance
  • Home relief, local public assistance

Tools of Trade:

  • Uniforms, medal, emblem, equipment, horse, arms and sword of member of military
  • Farm machinery, team and food for 60 days; professional furniture, books and instruments to $600 total


  • 90% of earned but unpaid wages received within 60 days before and anytime after filing
  • 90% of earnings from dairy farmer's sales to milk dealers
  • 100% of pay of noncommissioned officer, private or musician in U.S. or N.Y. State armed forces

Wildcard: None

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