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Texas Bankruptcy Exemptions

What Can Be Taken From Me in Bankruptcy? What can I Hold Onto and Not Let Be Taken Away in Bankruptcy? Read On!

Below you’ll find a bankruptcy exemptions in Texas chart, which will detail the types of possessions and property for which you can apply to have exempted and protect from your creditors so that when you do a bankruptcy here in Texas, it won’t be required for you to have to start at zero. Some of the most common examples of things you can keep are your house, a car for each adult, and a certain amount of personal bank account money. But there are many more for you to review below. Remember, that when you fill out the form or click to speak with one of our attorneys, they will guide you through this entire process. Any of the property which falls specifically in the categories you find here below may be exempted and protected. There are dollar amounts noted here, too, which will help you know what total value of property you can protect in each category.You will keep this property that you have properly and securely exempted with the help of your bankruptcy lawyer — even after you file for bankruptcy in Texas. 

In the State of Texas, it is also an option for you to use  federal bankruptcy exemption statutes in lieu of Texas bankruptcy exemptions.

Exemption limits fall into dollar amount categories and are applied to equity or “ownership stake” which you own or have in specific property listed. This equity refers to the dollar amount difference in the total “worth” or dollar value for the property along with the total debt or amount that is still owed or “mortgaged” on the specific property. As an example, if you own a vehicle which is valued for $5000 and have a car loan totally $4500 on the car still, then your equity stake in the car is really only $500.

In the cases where your property has a loan against it and is secured with such a loan, like with a car, home or other real estate, and your payments for such debts are current and not late or behind, then the equity for such property will be covered just like other exemptions that are owned free and clear. If you choose to keep up with making these payments for your property which you have loans or mortgages, then you’ll typically be able to keep these types of property even after you have finished filing for bankruptcy protection in Texas. In the cases where your property does not fall into one of the specifically covered categories for exemptions, then it will be determined by the trustee who still may choose to let you retain the property, or who may also choose to liquidate any asset of yours that does not fall in these exemption categories. This money from liquidation will then be distributed to creditors. Typically, in these cases, as the debtor and person seeking bankruptcy protection, you would still be allowed to keep the actual amount of the asset exemption in the form of a payment in cash if you own an asset for which the value of the asset is above the amount of the exemption maximum protection dollar amount.

Texas Bankruptcy laws also allow for married couples who file their taxes jointly to double exemptions, aka, for each person in the married couple to claim their own full exemption protections, except in situations that are specifically noted.

Keeping property which is non-exempt is also possible, in which case the debtor will pay money to the trustee for the price or value for such property.

When filing a Texas bankruptcy, some people also choose to apply certain federal exemptions which are over and in addition to Texas bankruptcy exemptions. It is always important to speak with one of our attorneys about your options.

Home or homestead property exemption The value for this exemption is unlimited; includes property which may not exceed a single acre in city limits, in a village, town or city. Furthermore, 100 acres (or 200 acres are allowed for entire families) are allowed when out of town or city limits; the sale proceeds for such home or homestead property are exempt for six mo’s subsequent to property sale (even if the person or family does not buy a new home, Property section 41.003) Person also may file for a homestead declaration if needed. Property 41.005, Property 41.002 and Property 41.001,
Exemption for Personal Property Protection Equipment for activities such as Athletic or sports and sporting type equipment; this includs bikes and bicycles; two firearms; furniture in the home, specifically to include family heirlooms; any food and food storage; clothes; jewels and jewelry (jewelry specifically may not be more than 25% of the personal property exemption); a single 2-, 3- or 4-wheeled vehicle for each family member and single adult person holding a license to drive (or in some cases who operates a vehicle on behalf of another person who is unable to drive); two horses, donkeys or mules along with saddles for such, as well as a blanket as well a bridle specifically for each of these; a total of twelve head-of-cows or cattle; sixty head of different additional kinds of animal livestock; 120 birds or fowl; pets up to the dollar value of $30,000 in total (and a total of $60,000 specifically for the head of household) Also death and grave/burial spots and plots, equipment for health, etc.  Property 42.001, 42.002Property 41.001 (b) (2)
Insurance Exemption Protection Assistance from Church including benefit and other plan benefits from insurance, Life insurance, health insurance, accident insurance and/or insurance annuity products and associated money, as well as insurance policy and cash value plans which are to be paid out in the case of an insured’s life. Present value life insurance specifically when beneficiary is the debtor and/or dependent of debtorInsurance for retired professionals, school teachers, public workers, and other school employee insurance group plans.Insurance for Texas public workers’ employee insurance as well as retired public worker insurances.Insurance for Texas college or Texas university benefits and/or insurance group plans and benefits. 1407a-6885.316 Insurance 21.22 Property 42.002(a) (12)Insurance 3.50-4(11) (a)3.50-4(11),1575.0061551.011

Insurance 3.50-3(9) (a)

Miscellaneous Exemption protections Protected Property from business any partnership 6132b-25
Protected Pensions Any County, city, or district employees receiving ERISA-qualified gov. or religious pension benefits, including but not limited to Keoghs, IRAs, public worker IRAs, Firefighters IRS, as well as others to any extent which are tax-deferredJudges pensionsProtected Keoghs which are tax-deferredAny police or law enforcement and/or any such police survivors

Municipal and other city employees

Any police officers or police employees

Any retirement benefits which are tax-deferred

Any protected State employees

Any public school teachers

Government 811.005Property 42.00216243e(5), 6243e.1(12),6243e.2(12)Property 42.0021Government 811.005Property 42.0021


6243g, Government


6243d-1(17), 6243j(20),6243g-1(23B)

Property 42.0021

Government 811.005

Government 811.005

Protection for Public Assistance and Welfare or other Benefits Recoveries or awards for victims of crimes or which have been awarded any type of medical assistance due to need; Any public welfare, assistance, benefits, or unemployment benefits or compensationAny exempted workers’ compensation 56.49Hum. Res. 32.036Hum. Res. 31.0405221b-138308-4.07
Any Protected Tools for Trade Vehicles consistent with any type of farming/ranching/commercial vehicles which also include implements and trade tools, commercial equipment to perform trade (including any boat or motor vehicles which are used in trade) also any books Property 42.002(a) (3)Property 42.002(a) (4)
Protected Wages Any unpaid but still earned wages including commissions up to the proportion of 75% Property 42.001(b) (1)Property 42.001(d)

To obtain additional information about filing bankruptcy in the State of Texas, consult with one of our attorneys who are available to help you with these difficult times. Don’t worry, it can get better from here through bankruptcy!

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