Bankruptcy Exemptions FAQ
Your Questions About Bankruptcy Exemptions

Bankruptcy Exemptions FAQ

Your questions about bankruptcy exemptions, answered.
State Bankruptcy Exemptions - All Categories
 
Is My State Adjusting Its Bankruptcy Exemptions for Inflation in 2022?

Updated: 2021-04-27 by

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What are Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Protecting Your Assets in Bankruptcy: Property Exemption Laws

Property you get to keep*

The law of what has come to be called "Asset Protection" is actually a mixture of laws that allow you to keep certain property no matter what, even if you owe money to others. Every state has laws that designate specific property you get to keep so that you can continue living a productive life. That is, even if you owe a trillion dollars to someone, the law won't make you sell the shirt off your back to pay it. And in Texas and Florida, they won't even make you sell your million dollar mansion, or in Nevada, your gun.

These rules are called "property exemptions." They vary from state to state. They designate what property is off limits to your 'creditors '-- the legal name for those who claim you owe them money.

What are Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Every state has laws that designate certain types of property (your home, some personal possessions, tools of your trade) that are off-limits to "unsecured" creditors -- that is, creditors who do not have a lien on your property. Credit card debt and medical bills are the two the most common types of unsecured debt (unless you have a special 'secured' credit card).

Unsecured creditors cannot force you to sell your exempt property to pay off the debt. Even if the creditor goes to court wins a court judgment against you, and takes steps to attach a 'judgment lien' to your property, you are still entitled to your exemption amount before any sale proceeds are distributed to the unsecured creditor. (However, some debts, like child support, may be an exception.)

If you eventually do sell your property voluntarily, the creditor has a right to have its lien paid from the sale proceeds before you receive anything. As a practical matter, most people facing bankruptcy only own property that is exempt, and have no interest in selling what they have. If all of your property is protected by exemption laws, you are said to be "judgment proof" -- whether or not you file for bankruptcy.

If you do file for bankruptcy and all your property is exempt, your case is known as a "no asset" bankruptcy--which really means you have no non-exempt assets.

In bankruptcy, a court official called the "bankruptcy trustee" represents the rights of all unsecured creditors. The trustee can assert whatever rights the creditors would have if they had a court judgment against you.

Another important thing to remember about exemptions is that it only protects the "equity" in your property. That is the difference between the value of the property, and what you owe to secured creditors.

If you contractually agreed to pledge your property as collateral for a debt, this property is known as "secured property," and the debt is called a "secured" debt, and the person you owe is a "secured creditor" and they have a "security interest" in the property. If the debt was incurred to purchase the property itself (e.g. a car loan or first mortgage), the creditor is said to have a "purchase money security interest" (PMSI). Exemption laws offer no protection against such contractual agreements that give the creditor a PMSI.

EXAMPLE:

If you owe $10,000 on a $12,000 car, you have only $2,000 in equity. If your state has at least a $2,000 exemption for motor vehicles, that will be enough to protect the car in bankruptcy --(but you'll still need to make the car payments to the secured creditor.

On the other hand, if you own the vehicle free and clear, then your equity is the full value of the vehicle, and a $2,000 exemption would not enough to protect it. The trustee would force the sale of the car, you would get your exemption amount, and the trustee would get the rest of the proceeds to distribute to the unsecured creditors.

 


 

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Which State's Exemptions Must You Use?

Which State's Exemptions Must You Use?

Legal test under the 2005 bankruptcy law:

IF you have not lived in State for at least two years...

Then, which state did you consider to be your domicile two years ago?

(If more than one state, choose the state in which you lived most for the six months ending two years ago from this date.)

Residency Requirements for Using State Exemptions

Prior to the new bankruptcy law, filers used the exemptions of the state where they lived when they filed for bankruptcy. Under the new rules, however, some filers will have to use the exemptions of the state where they used to live. Congress was concerned about people gaming the system by moving to states with liberal exemptions just to file for bankruptcy. As a result, it passed residency requirements filers have to meet before they can use a state’s exemption system.
Here are the new rules that apply to exemptions for everything but a home:

  • If you have lived or made your residence in your current state for at least two years, you can use that state’s exemptions.
  • If you have lived or made your residence in your current state for more than 91 days but less than two years, you must use the exemptions of the state where you lived for the better part of the 180-day period immediately prior to the two-year period preceding your filing.
  • If you have lived or made your residence in your current state for fewer than 91 days, you’ll need to wait until you have lived there for at least 91 days before you can file (and then use whatever exemptions are available to you according to the rules set out above).
  • If the state you are filing in offers a choice between the state and federal bankruptcy exemptions, you can use the federal exemption list regardless of how long you’ve been living in the state.
  • If these rules deprive you of the right to use any state’s exemptions, you can use the federal exemption list. For example, some states allow their exemptions to be used only by current state residents, which might leave former residents who haven’t lived in their new home state for at least two years without any available state exemptions.

A longer residency requirement applies to homestead exemptions: If you acquired a home in your current state within the 40 months before you file for bankruptcy (and you didn’t purchase it with the proceeds from selling another home in that state), your homestead exemption will be subject to a cap of $125,000, even if the state homestead exemption available to you is larger. For detailed information on homestead exemptions, see Ch. 4.

NOTE - a potential 'Catch 22': In some states, exemption rules can only be used by a resident, or if you have your "domicile" there. But the federal rule says you must use the state you moved away from. So.... IF your former state's exemption laws, for which you may "qualify" under the federal formula, do not apply to non-residents -- then your your answer gets more complicated. See the site exemptionsexpress.com/How.htm for a more detailed explanation of this issue.

 


 

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Common Exceptions to Exemptions:

Common Exceptions to Exemptions:

Child support
Taxes
Secured claim holders

 


 

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Special Rules for Retirement Accounts

Special Rules for Retirement Accounts:

Under the 2005 bankruptcy law, virtually all types of pension and retirement accounts recognized by the IRS are completely exempt regardless of what state you live in.

This provision exempts "retirement funds to the extent that those funds are in a fund or account that is exempt from taxation under Sections 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457, or 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code."

This list covers 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, IRAs (including SEP and SIMPLE plans), as well as defined-benefit plans.

The exemption applies whether you rely on the list of federal bankruptcy exemptions (11 U.S.C. 522(d)(12)) or the exemption laws of your own state (See 11 U.S.C. 522(b)(3)(C)). Section 522(b)(4) spells out the specific requirements for qualifying under these provisions.

These exemptions are unlimited, except for Roth and traditional IRAs, which are capped at an aggregate IRA account value of $1,512,350  per individual (adjusted every three years for inflation). (See 11 U.S.C. 522(n))

SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, along with all other types of non-IRA retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s, are completely exempt.

More Info

For more details, see an excellent summary of how retirement accounts are treated under the new bankruptcy law from the August 2005 issue of the Journal of Financial Planning.

References to the Internal Revenue Code

The new bankruptcy law exemption for retirement accounts includes all funds "exempt from taxation under section 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457, or 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986."
Those sections cover:

  • 401 (a qualified pension, profit-sharing and stock bonus plan created under a trust established by an employer for the exclusive benefit of employees or beneficiaries)
  • 403 (qualified annuity plans that are established by an employer for an employee under IRC 404(a)(2) or 501(c)(3))
  • 408 (IRAs)
  • 408A (Roth IRAs)
  • 414 (other retirement plan for controlled groups of employees such as churches, partnerships, proprietorships, and governments)
  • 457 (eligible deferred compensation plans) or
  • 501(a) (retirement plans established and maintained by tax-exempt organizations, e.g. churches, nonprofit organizations)

Special 'exclusion' of education accounts

Under the new bankruptcy law, education savings accounts or education IRAs created under sections 529 or 530 of the Internal Revenue Code are 'excluded' from the bankruptcy estate (not quite the same as 'exempt' but with the same result).

See, 11 U.S.C. 541(b)(6), (529 Education Tuition Plans) and 11 U.S.C. 541(b)(5) (530 Coverdell IRAS)

NOTE: Even though these education accounts are excluded from the bankruptcy estate, you still must list them on your forms (See section (11 U.S.C. 521(c).)

Also excluded are:

  • benefits governed by ERISA (Click here for government info on ERISA and pensions.)
  • 414(d)(governmental retirement plans),
  • IRC 457 (deferred compensation)
  • 403(b)( tax deferred annuity plan including church plans, etc)

See 11 U.S.C. 541(b)(7)

 


 

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Insurance Exemption Glossary

Insurance Exemption Glossary:

Insurance exemptions use a lingo all their own and some familiarity with the jargon is essential to understanding what is exempt.

Three kinds of insurance assets

You may own a property interest in life insurance in three different ways: you may own an unmatured life insurance contract (with no cash value - e.g. a term life insurance policy), you may own cash value in an unmatured life insurance policy (e.g. a whole life policy), and you may, as a beneficiary, be entitled to proceeds from a matured life insurance policy.

"Matured" simply means that the conditions of the policy have have been met. A matured policy is paying proceeds to the beneficiary of the insured.

An unmatured policy is not paying proceeds, but, can still have a current value in two ways:

1. In the case of a "term life" policy, the continued existence of the contract itself can be said to have value, even if it cannot be converted to cash.

2. Other kinds of of policies can have accumulate value over time, and that value that can be borrowed against, or turned into cash if the policy is 'surrendered' (see "avails" below).

Reading insurance exemptions

Many states have unlimited exemptions for insurance proceeds. However, most states offer only limited exemptions for the cash or loan value of an unmatured policy.

A few states, however, offer unlimited exemptions for the cash value of such policies, or policies offered by 'fraternal benefit societies.' In such states, life insurance is often an important component of an overall asset protection strategy.

Other terms

Avails: Any amount available to the owner of an insurance policy other than the actual proceeds of the policy. Avails include dividend payments, interest, cash or surrender value (the money you'd get if you sold your policy back to the insurance company) and loan value (the amount of cash you can borrow against the policy).

 

 


 

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Can I eliminate judicial liens on exempt property?

Can I eliminate judicial liens on exempt property?

If there is a lien on your property as a result of a court judgment against you, you may have the right to remove it if it "impairs" an exemption on the property.

That is, if you have some equity in your property that is protected by an exemption, you can get judicial liens on it removed by the bankruptcy court as another element of the "fresh start" that bankruptcy is designed to provide.

This "impairment" requirement is a catch 22, though. You might think that if your property is completely under water, you should be able to strip off judgement liens. But that is not the case. Because if the property is completely under water, due to other secured claims, there is no equity to be protected by an exemption, and therefore there is no exemption to be "impaired", because you have no equity.

So, to be eligible for this kind of lien avoidance, you must have at least some equity in the property, and that equity must be protected by an exemption.

Having this kind of lien removed ("avoided") is an extra step you have to specifically request.

And some lawyers forget to check if any liens can be removed from your property, while your bankruptcy case is open. Be sure to check if there are judicial liens on your property, be sure to determine which ones can be eliminated, or reduced, through a "lien avoidance" procedure. 

Some liens cannot be removed however, including most tax liens and any judicial lien that secures a domestic support obligation. 11 U.S.C.A. § 522(f)(1)(A).

For more information on lien avoidance, when it's available and step by step procedural guidance how to do it, see Chapter 5 of  How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, 22nd Edition, by Albin Renauer & Cara O'Neil. 

Note that some judicial district web sites have links for those who provide free legal assistance to debtors who need representation in a lien avoidance proceeding.


 

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Exemptions & "Secured Debts"

*Exemptions & "secured debts"

Note that property that is collateral for a purchase-money loan (such as a car securing a car loan or a home securing a first mortgage) is not protected by exemptions from repossession actions by that lender. Any equity you may own in the property is protected and may give you certain rights against holders of judgment liens and second or third lien holders.

Let's repeat that first point before we go further: Exemption laws do NOT protect you from losing property if you've voluntarily pledged the property as security for a loan and you don't make the payments.

Example: 
Unsecured vs Secured Debts

So... for example. If you owe $30,000 to credit card companies, that debt is "unsecured". There is no collateral attached to it. No matter what they threaten, the credit card company can't take any of your exempt property. Likewise, most medical bills and lawsuit settlements are "unsecured" debts. If an unsecured creditor bothers to go to court get a judgment against you, they can get the court to attach a "judgment lien" to your property. But if the property is exempt, you typically can (and should) ask the bankruptcy court to remove that lien from your property (but you have to ask -- its not automatic).

Continuing the example ... If you were persuaded to pay off your credit cards and other unsecured debts with a lower interest, "secured" loan, say, from a loan consolidation company, you probably pledged your home equity or other property as collateral.

As a general principle, once you've voluntarily (i.e. through a contract or signing something) pledged your property as security for a loan, the exemption laws no longer protect you. The creditor can repossess the property you pledged regardless of whether it is protected by an exemption.

Note that this is a general principle, among other factors -- more than we can go into here.... That's why we wrote a book... Specific facts might lead the court to apply other principles to, for example, undo a recent transaction if it unfairly benefited a single specific creditor at the expense of many others.

See Chapters 3, 4 and 5 of the How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for more about this.

 


 

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Dealing with Secured Auto Loans in Bankruptcy

Note that property that is collateral for a purchase-money loan (such as a car securing a car loan or a home securing a first mortgage) is not protected by exemptions from repossession actions by that lender. Any equity you may own in the property is protected and may give you certain rights against holders of judgment liens and second or third lien holders.

Let's repeat that first point before we go further: Exemption laws do NOT protect you from losing property if you've voluntarily pledged the property as security for a loan and you don't make the payments.

Example: 
Unsecured vs Secured Debts

So... for example. If you owe $30,000 to credit card companies, that debt is "unsecured". There is no collateral attached to it. No matter what they threaten, the credit card company can't take any of your exempt property. Likewise, most medical bills and lawsuit settlements are "unsecured" debts. If an unsecured creditor bothers to go to court get a judgment against you, they can get the court to attach a "judgment lien" to your property. But if the property is exempt, you typically can (and should) ask the bankruptcy court to remove that lien from your property (but you have to ask -- its not automatic).

Continuing the example ... If you were persuaded to pay off your credit cards and other unsecured debts with a lower interest, "secured" loan, say, from a loan consolidation company, you probably pledged your home equity or other property as collateral.

As a general principle, once you've voluntarily (i.e. through a contract or signing something) pledged your property as security for a loan, the exemption laws no longer protect you. The creditor can repossess the property you pledged regardless of whether it is protected by an exemption.

Stating your Intention of What You Plan To Do About Your Collateral

The court will ask you to declare what you intend to do about your secured debts, and the collateral that secures them. 

The so called "Statement of Intention" form lays out your options.

Reaffirm? Redeem? Surrender? Ride Through?

  • Choose to keep the car, and
    • reaffirm your personal liability on the debt, via a "reaffirmation agreement with the lender — which keeps you responsible for the debt, despite your bankruptcy.
    • or redeem the property by paying its current value to the creditor, done and done.
  • Surrender it back to the car lender, and
    • wait for the lender to come pick it up (get the keys or tow it), or 
    • ...or "ride through" by keeping making monthly payments on the property as long as the creditor doesn't repossess the car — even though you can't be sued for any personal liability, and hope they creditor lets you keep the car. 
      (This "informal" practice varies widely across the nation. Talk to a local bankruptcy lawyer to determine the custom in your district. Also with used cars rising in value, this practice of letting debtors retain the vehicle is less common if the used vehicle can be easily sold in a hot market.)
      • If you surrender the car, your obligation to pay the car loan is discharged along with your unsecured debts. That's why creditors may be disinclined to let you "ride through", because  if the car stops working  or is damaged, you can simply walk away from it, and not owe anything more — and all the creditor may be left with is the damaged or neglected vehicle's salvage value at the junk yard.

graphic explaning your options re secured debts

graphic explaning reaffirming secured debts

graphic explaning redeeming secured debts

graphic explaning ride surrender

graphic explaning ride through of secured debts

How much could the trustee get for "the bankruptcy estate" if they sold your vehicle?

Would there be anything left after the trustee has paid off:

  • the costs of sale
  • creditors liens
  • your exemption amount

graphic explaning how exemptions work with secured property; unprotected equity

how exemptions work with secured property, fully exempt property

Redemption Options for Secured Auto Loans in Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy offers the option of keeping your secured property by immediately paying it's current replacement value of the object rather than the loan amount. This can be an attractive option for those with auto loans where the value of the car has most likely depreciated faster than the loan balance. However, coming up with the full amount in cash can be difficult if not impossible. In the past few years, a few alternatives have arisen.

Vendors of "Redemption Financing"

The companies listed below specializes in making auto loans to bankrupt debtors seeking the bankruptcy option of "redemption" of their vehicle, whereby the debtor keeps the car by immediately paying the vehicle's current market value (replacement value) rather than the full loan amount over time. These companies will finance a new auto loan (generally through a bank) to produce the cash to pay the redemption amount to your original creditor, and then you pay the redemption amount to the new lender over time. Of course, if you miss payments under the new loan, you'll still lose the vehicle, but at least your monthly payments should be smaller. The new lender takes ownership of the lien on your car. Debtors must have an otherwise good credit history to qualify, and the car must be in good enough condition (i.e. worth enough) to protect the bank's loan.

722 Redemption Financing (via US Bank)

This company specializes in making auto loans (through US Bank) to debtors seeking the option of "redemption" available to those in bankruptcy whereby the debtor can keep a car by paying the current market value (replacement value) of the automobile rather than the loan amount. The company will finance redemption of your existing automobile, or arrange financing for a replacement automobile. Debtors must have an otherwise good credit history to qualify. See the site for more information.

The site has special home pages for debtors, debtors attorneys, creditors, creditors attorneys, bankruptcy trustees, auto dealers.

Of course, if you can't make the payments on this revised amount loan, you'll still lose the car, just to a different lender. So this option is only a solution if you can make the payments on the reduced amount.

FreshStart Loan Corporation 

Fresh Start Loan Corporation, a Delaware Corporation, dba Redemption Financial Services™ is a duly licensed Consumer Loan Company that began its operations in 1999. The company is now licensed in 12 states*, with licenses pending in 6 states** as of January, 2005.

Paul D. Kirschner, President, General Counsel, Fresh Start Loan Corporation . All employees of Fresh Start Loan Corporation, its loan officers, loan processors, customer service and intake employees are located at our headquarters in Gig Harbor, Washington.

* Licensed in Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon, Utah and Washington
** Licenses Pending in California, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, Nevada and Ohio

 


 

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Updates & Errata

Updates & Errata

I've been maintaining these tables since 1997. I try to update them twice a year. Laws change, and, even with a 99.9% accuracy, there are thousands of citations here, so a few might have a glitch or two. If I've missed something important, or something has changed, let us know. I'll fix it. Other users will thank you.

2022 Changes in Federal Exemption Amounts and Debt Limits

Source: Adjustment of Certain Dollar Amounts in the Bankruptcy Code A Notice by the Judicial Conference of the United States on 02/04/2022

Affected sections of Title 28 U.S.C. and the bankruptcy code Dollar amount to be adjusted New (adjusted) dollar amount 1
28 U.S.C.
Section 1409(b)—a trustee may commence a proceeding arising in or related to a case to recover:    
(1)—money judgment of or property worth less than $1,375 $1,525.
(2)—a consumer debt less than $20,450 $22,700.
(3)—a non-consumer debt against a non-insider less than $25,000 $27,750.
11 U.S.C.
Section 101(3)—definition of assisted person $204,425 $226,850.
Section 101(18)—definition of family farmer $10,000,000 (each time it appears) $11,097,350 (each time it appears).
Section 101(19A)—definition of family fisherman $2,044,225 (each time it appears) $2,268,550 (each time it appears).
Section 101(51D)—definition of small business debtor $2,725,625 (each time it appears) $3,024,725 (each time it appears).
Section 109(e)—debt limits for individual filing bankruptcy under chapter 13 $419,275 (each time it appears) $1,257,850 (each time it appears) $465,275 (each time it appears). $1,395,875 (each time it appears).
Section 303(b)—minimum aggregate claims needed for the commencement of an involuntary chapter 7 or 11 petition $16,750 (each time it appears) $18,600 (each time it appears).
Section 507(a)—priority expenses and claims:    
(1)—in paragraph (4) $13,650 $15,150.
(2)—in paragraph (5)(B)(i) $13,650 $15,150.
(3)—in paragraph (6) $6,725 $7,475.
(4)—in paragraph (7) $3,025 $3,350.
Section 522(d)—value of property exemptions allowed to the debtor:    
(1)—in paragraph (1) $25,150 $27,900.
(2)—in paragraph (2) $4,000 $4,450.
(3)—in paragraph (3) $625 $13,400 $700. $14,875.
(4)—in paragraph (4) $1,700 $1,875.
(5)—in paragraph (5) $1,325 $12,575 $1,475. $13,950.
 
(6)—in paragraph (6) $2,525 $2,800.
(7)—in paragraph (8) $13,400 $14,875.
(8)—in paragraph (11)(D) $25,150 $27,900.
Section 522(f)(3)—exception to lien avoidance under certain state laws $6,825 $7,575.
Section 522(f)(4)—items excluded from definition of household goods for lien avoidance purposes $725 (each time it appears) $800 (each time it appears).
Section 522(n)—maximum aggregate value of assets in individual retirement accounts exempted $1,362,800 $1,512,350.
Section 522(p)—state homestead exemption, limit for interest acquired 1215 days before filing $170,350 $189,050.
Section 522(q)—state homestead exemption, limit under particular circumstances $170,350 $189,050.
Section 523(a)(2)(C)—exceptions to discharge—presumption of nondischargeability:    
(1)—in paragraph (i)(I)—consumer debts for luxury goods or services incurred ≤90 days before filing owed to a single creditor in the aggregate $725 $800.
(2)—in paragraph (i)(II)—certain cash advances obtained ≤70 days before filing, in the aggregate $1,000 $1,100.
Section 541(b)—certain property of the estate exclusion limits $6,825 (each time it appears) $7,575 (each time it appears).
Section 547(c)(9)—minimum preference avoidance value in cases with primarily non-consumer debts $6,825 $7,575.
Section 707(b)—dismissal of a chapter 7 case or conversion to chapter 11 or 13 (means test):    
(1)—in paragraph (2)(A)(i)(I) $8,175 $9,075.
(2)—in paragraph (2)(A)(i)(II) $13,650 $15,150.
(3)—in paragraph (2)(A)(ii)(IV) $2,050 $2,275.
(4)—in paragraph (2)(B)(iv)(I) $8,175 $9,075.
(5)—in paragraph (2)(B)(iv)(II) $13,650 $15,150.
(6)—in paragraph (5)(B) $1,375 $1,525.
(7)—in paragraph (6)(C) $750 $825.
(8)—in paragraph (7)(A)(iii) $750 $825.
Section 1322(d)—length of chapter 13 plan, current monthly income, 4+ household $750 (each time it appears) $825 (each time it appears).
Section 1325(b)—confirmation of chapter 13 plan, current monthly income, 4+ household $750 (each time it appears) $825 (each time it appears).
Section 1326(b)(3)—payments to former chapter 7 trustee $25 $25.
1 The New (Adjusted) Dollar Amounts reflect a 10.97347880254584 percent increase, rounded to the nearest $25.

 

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Updates & Errata

Updates & Errata

I've been maintaining these tables since 1997. I try to update them twice a year. Laws change, and, even with a 99.9% accuracy, there are thousands of citations here, so a few might have a glitch or two. If I've missed something important, or something has changed, let us know. I'll fix it. Other users will thank you.

2022 Changes in Federal Exemption Amounts and Debt Limits

Source: Adjustment of Certain Dollar Amounts in the Bankruptcy Code A Notice by the Judicial Conference of the United States on 02/04/2022

Affected sections of Title 28 U.S.C. and the bankruptcy code Dollar amount to be adjusted New (adjusted) dollar amount 1
28 U.S.C.
Section 1409(b)—a trustee may commence a proceeding arising in or related to a case to recover:    
(1)—money judgment of or property worth less than $1,375 $1,525.
(2)—a consumer debt less than $20,450 $22,700.
(3)—a non-consumer debt against a non-insider less than $25,000 $27,750.
11 U.S.C.
Section 101(3)—definition of assisted person $204,425 $226,850.
Section 101(18)—definition of family farmer $10,000,000 (each time it appears) $11,097,350 (each time it appears).
Section 101(19A)—definition of family fisherman $2,044,225 (each time it appears) $2,268,550 (each time it appears).
Section 101(51D)—definition of small business debtor $2,725,625 (each time it appears) $3,024,725 (each time it appears).
Section 109(e)—debt limits for individual filing bankruptcy under chapter 13 $419,275 (each time it appears) $1,257,850 (each time it appears) $465,275 (each time it appears). $1,395,875 (each time it appears).
Section 303(b)—minimum aggregate claims needed for the commencement of an involuntary chapter 7 or 11 petition $16,750 (each time it appears) $18,600 (each time it appears).
Section 507(a)—priority expenses and claims:    
(1)—in paragraph (4) $13,650 $15,150.
(2)—in paragraph (5)(B)(i) $13,650 $15,150.
(3)—in paragraph (6) $6,725 $7,475.
(4)—in paragraph (7) $3,025 $3,350.
Section 522(d)—value of property exemptions allowed to the debtor:    
(1)—in paragraph (1) $25,150 $27,900.
(2)—in paragraph (2) $4,000 $4,450.
(3)—in paragraph (3) $625 $13,400 $700. $14,875.
(4)—in paragraph (4) $1,700 $1,875.
(5)—in paragraph (5) $1,325 $12,575 $1,475. $13,950.
 
(6)—in paragraph (6) $2,525 $2,800.
(7)—in paragraph (8) $13,400 $14,875.
(8)—in paragraph (11)(D) $25,150 $27,900.
Section 522(f)(3)—exception to lien avoidance under certain state laws $6,825 $7,575.
Section 522(f)(4)—items excluded from definition of household goods for lien avoidance purposes $725 (each time it appears) $800 (each time it appears).
Section 522(n)—maximum aggregate value of assets in individual retirement accounts exempted $1,362,800 $1,512,350.
Section 522(p)—state homestead exemption, limit for interest acquired 1215 days before filing $170,350 $189,050.
Section 522(q)—state homestead exemption, limit under particular circumstances $170,350 $189,050.
Section 523(a)(2)(C)—exceptions to discharge—presumption of nondischargeability:    
(1)—in paragraph (i)(I)—consumer debts for luxury goods or services incurred ≤90 days before filing owed to a single creditor in the aggregate $725 $800.
(2)—in paragraph (i)(II)—certain cash advances obtained ≤70 days before filing, in the aggregate $1,000 $1,100.
Section 541(b)—certain property of the estate exclusion limits $6,825 (each time it appears) $7,575 (each time it appears).
Section 547(c)(9)—minimum preference avoidance value in cases with primarily non-consumer debts $6,825 $7,575.
Section 707(b)—dismissal of a chapter 7 case or conversion to chapter 11 or 13 (means test):    
(1)—in paragraph (2)(A)(i)(I) $8,175 $9,075.
(2)—in paragraph (2)(A)(i)(II) $13,650 $15,150.
(3)—in paragraph (2)(A)(ii)(IV) $2,050 $2,275.
(4)—in paragraph (2)(B)(iv)(I) $8,175 $9,075.
(5)—in paragraph (2)(B)(iv)(II) $13,650 $15,150.
(6)—in paragraph (5)(B) $1,375 $1,525.
(7)—in paragraph (6)(C) $750 $825.
(8)—in paragraph (7)(A)(iii) $750 $825.
Section 1322(d)—length of chapter 13 plan, current monthly income, 4+ household $750 (each time it appears) $825 (each time it appears).
Section 1325(b)—confirmation of chapter 13 plan, current monthly income, 4+ household $750 (each time it appears) $825 (each time it appears).
Section 1326(b)(3)—payments to former chapter 7 trustee $25 $25.
1 The New (Adjusted) Dollar Amounts reflect a 10.97347880254584 percent increase, rounded to the nearest $25.

 

<   Bankruptcy Exemptions FAQ Contents

Conditions of use & common sense advice before you use exemption information

Conditions of use & common sense advice before you use these exemption listings— Permission to use these materials is given only on the condition that the user will be solely responsible for verifying the accuracy of the information contained here.

This list was last updated, January 2020. Laws can and do change. Before relying on this or ANY information you find on the internet, confirm that it is current. (If you find something incorrect or out of date, please report it here. Thanks. )

Every effort has been made to report these laws accurately. However, there could be errors or omissions which could change the effect of the law in a particular case.

If you see a law listed here and want to know how it applies to you -- that's what lawyers are for. A lawyer can tell you whether and how a law would apply to your specific situation, and give you other ideas of how the laws might work in your favor, in your particular case. There are resources on this website to help you locate a lawyer in .

Laws are interpreted and applied by trustees and judges, and often even the judges don't agree on what the law means and when it applies. Over time, and hundreds of cases, there develops a pretty clear picture of what exemptions are allowed or routinely challenged within the local bankruptcy practice. Local customs can vary one district to the next, or even depend on the trustee. An experienced local bankruptcy professional should have a good sense of what flies and what doesn't with your local judge and trustee.

See the disclaimer, for other important limitations regarding this information.

 


 

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