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Texas Exemption Notes

Texas is famous for its unlimited homestead exemption, which is as old as the state itself, and the state does not allow wage garnishment, and a features a  $50,000 personal property exemption. Those three things set apart the Lone Star state from most other states. 

Federal exemptions are also available, but because the state law exemptions are quite generous, most people use them.

The main set of exemptions for Texas are found in the Texas Property Code §§ 42.001,  42.002.

Section 42.001 sets the overall limits for the exemptions listed in section 42.002(a).  These limits are currently at $50,000; double that for joint filers.

 

OPT OUT STATUS:

Can I use the §522(d) Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in Texas?

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

KEY EXEMPTIONS:

Homestead

Unlimited; property cannot exceed 10 acres in town, village, city or 100 acres (200 for families) elsewhere; sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after sale (renting okay if another home not acquired, Prop. 41.003)
Must file homestead declaration, or court will file it for you and charge you for doing so

Motor Vehicle

1 two-, three- or four-wheeled 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

Wildcard

None

Personal Property

Up to $50,000 of personal property ($100,000 for joint filers) from the list of property described in § 42.002(a) of the Texas Property Code:

One vehicle per family member, (a)(9)
2 firearms (a)(7)
Bible or other sacred writings (
Clothing (a)(5) & food (a)(2)
Home furnishings including family heirlooms (a)(1)
Jewelry (limited to 25% of total exemption) (a)(6)
Pets & domestic animals plus their food: 2 horses, mules, or donkeys & tack; 12 head of cattle; 60 head of other livestock; 120 fowl (a)(10)
Health aids (exempt from total) (b)
Tools, equipment (includes boat & motor vehicles used in trade), & books (a)(

See Also:
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  • Homestead

  • Homestead [US] Real property, including co-op or mobile home, or burial plot to $27,900; unused portion of homestead to $13,950 may be applied to any property
  • Tenancy by Entirety

  • Tenancy by Entirety [US] Tenancy by entirety is exempt only if debtor chooses State & Non-bankruptcy exemptions.
  • Insurance — Life, Disability

  • Insurance — Life, Disability [US] Disability, illness, or unemployment benefits
  • Insurance — Life, Disability [US] Life insurance payments from policy for person you depended on, needed for support
  • Insurance — Life, Disability [US] Life insurance policy loan value, in accured dividends or interest, to $14,875
  • Insurance — Life, Disability [US] Unamtured life insurance contract, except credit insurance policy
  • Pensions & Retirement Savings

  • Pensions & Retirement Savings [US] All types of retirement funds and accounts that tax-exempt under IRC section 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457, or 501(a) ; IRAs & Roth IRAs limited to $1,512,350 (excluding rollover contributions); limitation can be overidden by judge.
  • Personal Property

  • Personal Property [US] Animals, crops, clothing, appliances, books, furnishings, household goods, musical instruments to $700 per item, $14,875 total
  • Personal Property [US] Health aids
  • Personal Property [US] Jewelry to $1,875
  • Personal Property [US] Lost earnings payments
  • Personal Property [US] Motor vehicle to $4,450
  • Personal Property [US] Personal injury recoveries to $27,900 (not to include pain & suffering or pecuniary loss)
  • Personal Property [US] Wrongful death recoveries for person you depended on
  • Public Benefits

  • Public Benefits [US] Crime victims' compensation
  • Public Benefits [US] Social Security
  • Public Benefits [US] Unemployment compensation
  • Public Benefits [US] Veteran's benefits
  • Tools of Trade

  • Tools of Trade [US] Implements, books, & tools of trade to $2,800
  • Wages

  • Wages [US] None
  • Wild Card

  • Wild Card [US] $1,475 of any property
  • Wild Card [US] Up to $13,950 of unused homestead exemption amount, for any property.
  • Miscellaneous

  • Miscellaneous [US] Alimony, child support needed for support
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