Texas Bankruptcy Exemption Citations

Basics
- Bankruptcy Basics - (Basics)
  • How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works in Texas
    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 Texas 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 Forms Lawyers
- Bankruptcy Lawyers Serving Tyler County, TX - (Lawyers)
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News
- Bankruptcy News - (News)
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Texas Bankruptcy Exemptions


Table of Texas State Law Bankruptcy Exemptions - by Category

Homestead

Homestead Amount Joint Amount
no dollar limit no dollar limit

Tenancy by the Entirety

-

Insurance

Miscellaneous

-

Pensions & Retirement Savings

Personal Property

Public Benefits

Tools of Trade

Wage Garnishment Limits

"Wild Card" Exemption

-

Texas Bankrupcty Exemptions Summary

(details below...)

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

  (more...)

Personal Property

Clothing & food
Home furnishings including family heirlooms
Jewelry (limited to 25% of total exemption)
Pets & domestic animals plus their food: 2 horses, mules, or donkeys & tack; 12 head of cattle; 60 head of other livestock; 120 fowl
Health aids (exempt from total)
Tools, equipment (includes boat & motor vehicles used in trade), & books

   (more...)

Auto/Truck (aka 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

  (more...)

Wage Garnishment Law

In Texas, all wages exempt from debt collection.

Texas earned an “A” from the NCLC for their protection of wage earnings from garnishment for debt collection.

  (more...)

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Does Texas Adjust Exemptions for Inflation?

Texas 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 Texas?

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Available?

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

-

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

Texas Homestead Exemption

Texas Homestead Exemption 

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

Amount Joint amount

no dollar limit

no dollar limit

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 Texas 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 Texas debtor use the Federal Bankruptcy exemptions instead of Texas exemptions?

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

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 Texas Recognize Tenancy by the Entirety?

-

 

Tenancy By The Entirety in Other States

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Insurance

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

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

Insurance Exemptions in Other States

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Misc

Texas Miscellaneous Exemptions

-

 

US Bankruptcy Code § 522 Miscellaneous Exemptions

-

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

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

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

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

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

Pension & Retirement Exemptions in Other States

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Personal Property

Texas Motor Vehicle Exemption & Other Personal Property Exemptions

Texas Motor Vehicle Exemption

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

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

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

Personal Property Exemptions in Other States

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Public Benefits

Public Benefits Exemptions for Texas

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

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

Public Benefits Exemptions in Other States

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Tools of Trade

Texas Tools of Trade Exemptions

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

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

Tools of Trade Exemptions in Other States

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Wages

Texas Wage Garnishment Exemption

Texas 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.

In Texas, all wages exempt from debt collection.

Texas earned an “A” from the NCLC for their protection of wage earnings from garnishment for debt collection.

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

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

See also

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

Wage Garnishment in Other States

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WildCard

Texas WildCard Exemption

None

-

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

Yes. Federal exemptions are available.

-

WildCard Exemptions in Other States

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