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FAQ: What are the federal Exemptions?

The federal exemptions can be found at 11 U.S.C. ß 522. There are numerous exemptions, but the most important and widely used ones are as follows: (Note: The federal exemption amounts listed below were adjusted on April 1, 2001 pursuant to 11 U.S.C. ß104. You will need to double these amounts for married couples filing jointly). (d)(1) Homestead - $18,450.00 (d)(2) Motor vehicle - $2,950.00 (d)(3) Household goods - $9,850.00 (d)(4) Jewelry - $1,225.00 (d)(5) Wildcard (unused homestead) - $9,250.00 (d)(6) Tools of the trade - $1,850.00 (d)(8) Loan value of any life insurance - $9,850.00 (11)(D) Personal injury award - $18,450.00

There are other exemption for retirement accounts, health aids, etc., but these are the most commonly used exemptions with values that most people need to be concerned about. The selection of exemptions can be very tricky and your attorney will help you decide whether you should select the state exemptions or the federal exemptions for your particular bankruptcy.

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