Missouri Bankruptcy Exemption Citations

Basics
- Bankruptcy Basics - (Basics)
  • How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works in Missouri
    How Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you cancel your debts, protect your exempt property, and stop bill collectors.
  • What are the different kinds of bankruptcy?
    This site focuses on Chapter7 and Chapter 13. But there are also chapters 11, 12, 9, and 15
  • Glossary of Important Bankruptcy Terms
    From Adversary proceeding to Wage garnishment
  • Do I qualify for bankruptcy?
    To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the means test, which compares your household income to the median income in Missouri for a household your size.
  • Secured debt vs. unsecured debt: What's the difference?
    Bankruptcy helps you get rid of unsecured debt. It does not eliminate secured debts, where you have pledged collateral for a loan, such as a car loan or a mortgage. When you file bankruptcy you must declare what you intend to do about your secured debts.
  • Do I need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy?
    The law does not require to have a lawyer, and if your case is simple and you have few assets, you can successfully file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy yourself. Chapter 13? Not so much. And if you have property to lose, or you're not great with details, getting a lawyers help can be a good idea, no matter what kind of bankruptcy you're filing. Also a lawyer may find ways to help that you haven't' thought of
  • Where do I file for bankruptcy?
    Bankruptcy is federal law and you file in the local Federal District Bankruptcy Court. Find out yours.
  • Can I get free bankruptcy forms?
    The US government makes PDF bankruptcy forms available for free. We'll tell you which ones you need and links to download them.
  • What are bankruptcy exemptions?
    Asset protection is an important benefit of bankruptcy. Exemption laws are the laws that let you protect certain assetss from creditors. Every state has different exemptions. Some states allow you to use the federal exemptions.
  • Do I have to get credit counseling before I file for bankruptcy?
    Yes. You must complete a credit counseling course before you file your bankruptcy petition. Fortunately, it's easy and can be done online. And your case cannot be completed (i.e. you can't get your "discharge order" from the judge until you take a "Debtor Education" course.
  • What is a 341 hearing (creditors meeting)?
    Everyone who files for bankruptcy must attend a 341 hearing, which is also called a "creditors meeting." The meeting is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. During the Coronavirus, it. can be done by phone.
Filing Means Test Exemptions Courts
- Bankruptcy Lawyers Serving Moniteau County, MO - (Lawyers)
- Bankruptcy & the Coronavirus Recession - (COVID-19)
- Bankruptcy News - (News)
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Missouri Bankruptcy Exemptions


Table of Missouri State Law Bankruptcy Exemptions - by Category

Homestead

Homestead Amount Joint Amount
15,000 15,000

Tenancy by the Entirety

-

Insurance

Miscellaneous

-

Pensions & Retirement Savings

Personal Property

Public Benefits

Tools of Trade

Wage Garnishment Limits

"Wild Card" Exemption

-

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions NOT Available in Missouri

Missouri has opted out of the Federal Exemptions (see below)

Missouri Bankrupcty Exemptions Summary

(details below...)

Homestead

Real property to $15,000 or mobile home to $5,000 (joint owners may not double)

  (more...)

Personal Property

Appliances, household goods, furnishings, clothing, books, crops, animals, & musical instruments to $3,000 total
Health aids
Wedding ring to 1,500, other jewelry to $500
Implements, books, & tools of trade to $3,000

   (more...)

Auto/Truck (aka Motor Vehicle)

Motor vehicles to $3,000 in aggregate

  (more...)

Wild Card

$1,250 of any property if head of family, else $600; head of family may claim additional $350 per dependent child under age 21.

  (more...)

Wage Garnishment Law

Missouri garnishment law protects 90% of wages for head of family.

Missouri scored an "D" in the the NCLC grading of state wage garnishment protections, because it preserves more of a worker’s wages than the minimum required by federal law.

  (more...)

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Does Missouri Adjust Exemptions for Inflation?

Missouri does not adjust exemption amounts for inflation. 

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Federal Non-Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal "non-bankruptcy" exemptions are available in every state

You are entitled to use so-called federal "non-bankruptcy" exemptions in addition to your state law exemptions.

Non-bankruptcy exemptions are those exemption provisions of U.S. law that are NOT part of the bankruptcy code section section 522(d).

The four most significant non-bankruptcy exemptions are for

  • Wages (a general cap on what percentage of your wages can be garnished),
  • Social Security benefits,
  • Civil Service benefits,
  • Veterans Benefits

Other so called "non-bankruptcy" exemptions mostly deal with various benefits to government and military personnel, with a few odd laws regarding specially-regulated labor markets such as railroad workers, seamen, and longshoremen.

 

Table of Federal "Non-Bankruptcy" Exemptions

Homestead

-

Insurance

Miscellaneous

Pensions & Retirement Accounts

Personal Property

Public Benefits

Tools of Trade

Wage Garnishment Limits

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

Citations and links to primary law and secondary sources are provided for those who wish to do further research. Every effort has been made to make this information up to date and accurate, but laws can and do change without notice. Persons relying on this information are responsible for confirming its timeliness and accuracy before relying on it. (This information was updated for April 2019.)

Also bear in mind that these brief summaries do not list every detail or exception to these exemptions. For example, there are often exceptions for collection of child support debt and/or taxes. These listings are designed to inform you of laws that exist for your benefit, so that you may exercise what rights you may have.

Finally, this website is intended to provide information only. It cannot answer whether your property does or does not qualify for a specific exemption.

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Can I Use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in Missouri?

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Available?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

-

Background of state "opt out" laws

Every state has a list of exemptions that protect specific types and amounts of property from collections on judgements within that state.

When bankruptcy law was first modernized 50 years ago, the proposal was to have a federal list of bankruptcy exemptions apply uniformly across all 50 states. Many states objected to this idea, because state collection law had traditionally ruled that issues of collections and "asset protection" were matters of state, not federal law. So a compromise was struck, that allows states to "opt out" of the federal bankruptcy exemptions. 

Table of Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Under §522(d)

Homestead

Tenancy by the Entirety

Insurance

Miscellaneous

-

Pensions & Retirement Savings

Personal Property

Public Benefits

Tools of Trade

Wage Garnishment Limits

"Wild Card" Exemption

-

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

Citations and links to primary law and secondary sources are provided for those who wish to do further research. Every effort has been made to make this information up to date and accurate, but laws can and do change without notice. Persons relying on this information are responsible for confirming its timeliness and accuracy before relying on it. (This information was updated for April 2019.)

Also bear in mind that these brief summaries do not list every detail or exception to these exemptions. For example, there are often exceptions for collection of child support debt and/or taxes. These listings are designed to inform you of laws that exist for your benefit, so that you may exercise what rights you may have.

Finally, this website is intended to provide information only. It cannot answer whether your property does or does not qualify for a specific exemption.


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Homestead

Missouri Homestead Exemption

Missouri Homestead Exemption 

Real property to $15,000 or mobile home to $5,000 (joint owners may not double)

Amount Joint amount

15,000

15,000

NOTE: Residency Requirement Caps Maximum Homestead at $160,375 if you've recently moved to a State that allows more than that

Under the 2005 bankruptcy law, you must be have lived in the state for at least 40 months (3 years + 4 months) before you can claim any homestead protection greater than $160,375. (If your state's exemption offers less than this amount, the law is irrelevant to you.) .

IF you are moving to another state, OR you moved to Missouri within in the last two years, click here.

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Homestead Exemptions (available in every State)

These are exemptions under federal law, and not part of the bankruptcy code, so states cannot "opt out" from these exemptions.

-

US Bankruptcy Code § 522(d) Homestead Exemption

Can a Missouri debtor use the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of Missouri exemptions?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d) are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while,
  • or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Home Valuation tool

Just add your street address to get an estimate of the value of your house, and all others in your neighborhood. (Note: Does not serve all areas, and valuations are imperfect estimates only.)

Homestead Exemptions in Other States

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Tenancy By The Entirety

Does Missouri Recognize Tenancy by the Entirety?

Missouri recognizes TBE for all types of property.

-

 

Tenancy By The Entirety in Other States

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Insurance

Missouri Insurance Exemptions

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Insurance Exemptions (available in all states)

US Bankruptcy Code § 522 Insurance Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Code Exemptions under section 522 are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Missouri allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

Insurance Exemptions in Other States

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Misc

Missouri Miscellaneous Exemptions

-

 

US Bankruptcy Code § 522 Miscellaneous Exemptions

-

Does Missouri allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if
  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

 

Miscellaneous Exemptions in Other States

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Pensions

Missouri Pension Exemptions

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Pension & Retirement Exemptions (available in every state)

Federal Bankruptcy Code § 522(d) Pension & Retirement Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions under 11 U.S.C are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Missouri allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

Pension & Retirement Exemptions in Other States

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Personal Property

Missouri Motor Vehicle Exemption & Other Personal Property Exemptions

Missouri Motor Vehicle Exemption

Motor vehicles to $3,000 in aggregate

Missouri Personal Property Exemptions

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Personal Property Exemptions (available in every state)

Federal Bankruptcy Code § 522(d) Personal Property Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Missouri allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

Personal Property Exemptions in Other States

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Public Benefits

Public Benefits Exemptions for Missouri

Federal "non-bankruptcy" Public Benefits exemptions (available in all states)

Federal Bankruptcy Code §522(d) Public Benefits Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Missouri allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

Public Benefits Exemptions in Other States

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Tools of Trade

Missouri Tools of Trade Exemptions

Missouri Tools of Trade Exemptions

Federal non-bankrupcty Tools of Trade Exemptions

US Bankruptcy Code § 522 (d) Tools of Trade Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Missouri allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

Tools of Trade Exemptions in Other States

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Wages

Missouri Wage Garnishment Exemption

Missouri collections law and federal labor law (a federal non-bankruptcy exemption) set limits on what wages can be garnished. 
 
As the NCLC pointed out in a 2019 survey of state wage garnishment laws, some states fail to guarantee that a debtor can earn a poverty wage, free of garnishment.

Missouri garnishment law protects 90% of wages for head of family.

Missouri scored an "D" in the the NCLC grading of state wage garnishment protections, because it preserves more of a worker’s wages than the minimum required by federal law.

Federal Non-Bankruptcy Law (available in all states)

Federal "non-bankruptcy" law also offers exemption protection for wages.

US Bankruptcy Code § 522 Wage Garnishment Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Missouri allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

See also

Wage and Hour Law: Can My Employer Garnish My Wages in Missouri?

Wage Garnishment in Other States

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WildCard

Missouri WildCard Exemption

$1,250 of any property if head of family, else $600; head of family may claim additional $350 per dependent child under age 21.

-

Federal Bankruptcy Wildcard Exemptions

The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions are available to you if

  • you haven't lived in any state longer than 180 days for a while, or
  • if your state allows the Federal exemptions as a choice.

Does Missouri allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 513.427.

-

WildCard Exemptions in Other States

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