March 28, 2017
If you file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy in Louisiana, you can protect some or all of your property with Louisiana’s bankruptcy exemptions. Read on to learn about what property is covered by Louisiana’s bankruptcy exemptions.
For a general overview of bankruptcy exemptions, how they work, and which ones you can use, visit the Bankruptcy Exemption topic page.
In Louisiana, you aren't permitted to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. Filers can only exempt property using the Louisiana state exemptions.
Married couples filing a joint bankruptcy in Louisiana can claim double the exemption amount for property (other than real estate) as long as each spouse has an ownership interest in the property. For example, if both spouses own household goods and they file jointly, they can double the personal property exemptions and protect more of the property’s value.
Here are some of the most common exemptions available under Louisiana law. It's important to note that not all exemptions are included. You might be entitled to additional property protection. Unless otherwise noted, all references are to the Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated.
Up to $35,000 in equity in the home in which you live and the land on which it sits. The Louisiana homestead exemption is limited to five acres if it’s located in a town or city or up to 200 acres if not located in a town or city.
Spouses cannot double the Louisiana homestead exemption; however, all equity might be exempt for obligations arising as a direct result of a catastrophic or terminal illness or injury (consult with an attorney). La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 20:1
For more details about how the homestead exemption works in Louisiana, see The Louisiana Homestead Exemption.
You can protect insurance proceeds for exempt property damaged by a natural disaster. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881
You'll also be able to exempt fraternal benefit society benefits, accident and health insurance proceeds, and certain life insurance proceeds. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 22:298, 22:912, 22:944, 22:1015.
To $7,500 of equity in one standard motor vehicle plus up to $7,500 of equity in another which is modified or fitted to assist a person with a physical disability. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881
To learn more about how to exempt your motor vehicle under Louisiana law, see The Louisiana Motor Vehicle Exemption in Bankruptcy.
The household goods and furnishings, appliances, clothing, family portraits, arms and military accouterments, musical instruments, poultry, fowl, one cow, dogs, cats, other household pets, and wedding or engagement rings up to $5,000 in value, guns and ammunition up to $2,500. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881
The money you receive from the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit is exempt. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881
All qualified pensions, tax-deferred arrangements, annuity contracts, and proceeds of and payments under tax-deferred arrangements and annuity contracts. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881
Public assistance. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 46:111
Crime victim's compensation. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 46:1811
Earned income tax credit. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881(A)(6)
Unemployment compensation. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23:1693
Workers' compensation. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §23:1205
75% of disposable earnings or 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881
Tools, instruments, books, one utility trailer. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881
Louisiana’s exemption amounts are adjusted periodically. To make sure you have the most recent figures, be sure to check for any updates using the link above.
To learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Louisiana, see Louisiana Bankruptcy Information.