If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kansas, you can protect some or all of your property with Kansas’ bankruptcy exemptions. The bankruptcy exemptions in Kansas also play a role in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Read on to learn about what property is covered by Kansas’ bankruptcy exemptions.
For a general overview of bankruptcy exemptions, how they work, and which ones you can use, visit the Bankruptcy Exemption topic page.
Kansas Requires Debtors to Use State Exemptions
Kansas is an “opt out” state, meaning you are not permitted to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions when you file a bankruptcy in Kansas. This means that Kansas bankruptcy filers may only exempt property using the Kansas exemptions.
Married Couples May Double Kansas Exemptions
Married couples filing a joint bankruptcy in Kansas may double the exemption amount. This means that each spouse may claim the full exemption amount for any property in which the spouse has ownership interest. For example, if both spouses own furniture and they file jointly, they can double the amount of their personal property exemption in order to protect the furniture’s value.
Common Kansas Exemptions
Here are some of the most common exemptions available under Kansas law. Unless otherwise noted, all references are to the Kansas Statutes Annotated.
Homestead or Residential Property
The homestead exemption protects the equity in your home or principal residence. You can protect the entire value of the real property or mobile home that you occupy or intend to occupy up to one acre if located in a town or city, or up to 160 acres if located on a farm. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2301, Kan. Const. Art. 15 § 9
For more details about how the homestead exemption works in Kansas see The Kansas Homestead Exemption.
Life insurance proceeds. Kan. Stat. Ann. §40-414
Cash value of life insurance policy (not protected if obtained with fraudulent intent within one year prior to filing bankruptcy). Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2313
Disability and illness benefits. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2313
You can protect up to $20,000 of equity in a motor vehicle that you regularly use to get to and from work. If the vehicle is equipped to assist with a disability, you can protect the full, unlimited value of the vehicle. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2304(c)
To learn more about how to exempt your motor vehicle under Kansas law, see The Kansas Motor Vehicle Exemption in Bankruptcy.
Furnishings, clothing, earned income tax credits, and supplies, including food and fuel, that are in your possession and are reasonably necessary at your residence for up to one year. Jewelry, up to $1,000 in value. Burial plot or crypt. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2304
Pension, Retirement, and Life Insurance Benefits
ERISA-qualified benefits, IRAs and Roth IRAs.
Federal government pension needed for support & paid within 3 months prior to filing bankruptcy. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2308
Payment under a stock bonus, pension, profitsharing, annuity, or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age, or length of service, to the extent reasonably necessary for support. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2312
Earned income tax credit. Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-2315; In re Murray, 506 B.R. 129 (10th Cir. B.A.P. 2014)
75% of wages or your disposable earning less 30 times the federal minimum wage. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2310
(In re Urban, 262 B.R. 865 (Bankr. D. Kan. 2001))
Educational Savings Plans
Family college savings plans. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2308
Alimony and child support. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2312
Tools of the Trade
Books, furniture, tools, and supplies used in your trade or profession, up to $7,500. Kan. Stat. Ann. §60-2304
Confirming the Status of Kansas’ Bankruptcy Exemptions
Kansas’ exemption amounts are adjusted periodically. To make sure you have the most recent figures, be sure to check for any updates at the official website of the Kansas Legislature at http://kslegislature.org/li/.
For more information about filing bankruptcy in Kansas, see Kansas Bankruptcy Information.