Michigan Exemption Notes

Michigan offers its residents a choice of exemptions between the federal system and state bankruptcy exemptions. For those with real estate Michigan exemptions might be an attractive option because of his generous homestead exemption. For those without real estate the federal exemptions might be a better bet because of its generous wildcard exemption and more higher limits for vehicles and personal property generally.

The main set of exemptions for Michigan are found in the Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated § 600.5451. Michigan is unusual in that it has a this separate set of exemptions under state law, specifically to be used in federal bankruptcy proceedings, while still maintaining another set of exemptions used in state collections generally.

Michigan exemption law is not as generous as some states with a homestead exemption of $46,125* and a $4,625 personal property, and $4,250 motor vehicle exemption. *Adjusted for Inflation 2023)

If you have a lot of personal property and no real estate. The Federal exemptions, which are available in Michigan, might be a better bet because of the wildcard exemption. But if you own real estate, the Michigan homestead exemption is more generous than the federal homestead exemption.

Other Listings of Michigan Exemptions

Both Nolo, and UpSolve also review Michigan bankruptcy exemptions.

Since UpSolve is targeted for people without real estate, so it assumes you will use the federal exemptions in Michigan if you go to its here, but has a more nuanced discussion for those with real estate here


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

Yes. Michigan residents can use the Federal or State exemption systems.

Michigan has passed a special set of exemptions designed only to be used in bankruptcy cases (found in Section 600.5451). Although debtors can use the the exemptions in Michigan's "bankruptcy only" exemption statute, as well as ANY OTHER exemptions found in other Michigan statutes, such as exemptions for life insurance. (See In re Sasasak, 426 B.R. 680.)



Real property including condo to $46,125, $69,200 if over 65 or disabled; property cannot exceed 1 lot in town, village, city, or 40 acres elsewhere; spouse or children of deceased owner may claim homestead exemption. Spouses or unmarried co-owners may not double.

Motor Vehicle

Motor vehicle to $4,250 (adjusted for inflation, April 1, 2023).



Personal Property

Appliances, utensils, books, furniture, & household goods, to $700 each, to $4,625 total
Clothing; family pictures
1 computer & accessories to $800
Crops, farm animals, and feed for the farm animals to $3,075
Food & fuel to last family for 6 months
Church pew, slip, seat for entire family to $800
Household pets to $800
Professionally prescribed health aids
Tools, implements, materials, stock, apparatus, or other things needed to carry on occupation to $3,075 total

See Also:
  • 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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