Louisiana Bankruptcy Exemptions

The Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect certain property in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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.

Louisiana Requires Debtors to Use State Exemptions

In Louisiana, you aren't permitted to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. Filers can only exempt property using the Louisiana state exemptions.

Married Couples Can Double Louisiana 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.

Common Louisiana Exemptions

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.

Homestead or Residential Property

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.

Insurance Benefits

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.

Motor Vehicles

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.

Personal Property

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

Pension, Retirement, and Life Insurance Benefits

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 Benefits

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

Wages

75% of disposable earnings or 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881

Tools of the Trade

Tools, instruments, books, one utility trailer. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881

Confirming the Status of Louisiana’s Bankruptcy Exemptions

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.

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