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North Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions


Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions NOT Available in North Carolina

North Carolina has opted out of the Federal Exemptions (see below)

North Carolina Bankrupcty Exemptions Summary

(details below...)

Homestead

Real or personal property, including co-op, used as residence to $35,000 (husband and wife may double) ($60,000 if 65 or older and spouse is deceased); up to $5,000 of unused portion of homestead may be applied to any property

  (more...)

Personal Property

Animals, crops, musical instruments, books, clothing, appliances, household goods & furnishings to $5,500 total; may add $1,000 per dependent, up to $4,000 total additional (all property must have been purchased at least 90 days before filing)
Implements, books, & tools of trade to $2,000

   (more...)

Wild Card

$5,000 less any amount claimed for homestead or burial exemption, of any property
$500 of any personal property

  (more...)

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North Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions

Does North Carolina Adjust Exemptions for Inflation?

Some states adjust exemption amounts for inflation. North Carolina does not.

Can I Use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in North Carolina?

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Available?

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

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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. 

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.

 

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

North Carolina Homestead Exemption

Real or personal property, including co-op, used as residence to $35,000 (husband and wife may double) ($60,000 if 65 or older and spouse is deceased); up to $5,000 of unused portion of homestead may be applied to any property

Amount Joint amount

35,000

70,000

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 North Carolina 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.

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US Bankruptcy Code § 522(d) Homestead Exemption

Can a North Carolina debtor use the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of North Carolina exemptions?

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

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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TBE

Does North Carolina Recognize Tenancy by the Entirety?

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Tenancy By The Entirety in Other States

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Insurance

North Carolina 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 North Carolina allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

Insurance Exemptions in Other States

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Misc

North Carolina Miscellaneous Exemptions

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US Bankruptcy Code § 522 Miscellaneous Exemptions

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

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

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

North Carolina 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 North Carolina allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

Pension & Retirement Exemptions in Other States

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Personal Property

North Carolina Motor Vehicle Exemption & Other Personal Property Exemptions

North Carolina Motor Vehicle Exemption

Motor vehicle to $3,500

North Carolina 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 North Carolina allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

Personal Property Exemptions in Other States

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Public Benefits

Public Benefits Exemptions for North Carolina

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 North Carolina allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

Public Benefits Exemptions in Other States

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Tools of Trade

North Carolina Tools of Trade Exemptions

North Carolina 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 North Carolina allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

Tools of Trade Exemptions in Other States

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Wages

North Carolina Wage Garnishment

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 North Carolina allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

Wage Garnishment in Other States

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WildCard

North Carolina WildCard Exemption

$5,000 less any amount claimed for homestead or burial exemption, of any property
$500 of any personal property

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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 North Carolina allow debtor the option of using the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of state law exemptions?

No. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1C-1601(f).

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WildCard Exemptions in Other States

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