Wyoming Bankruptcy Exemptions

The Wyoming bankruptcy exemptions allow you to keep certain property in a Wyoming bankruptcy.

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If you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wyoming, the Wyoming bankruptcy exemptions can help you keep some or all of your property (in Chapter 7) or reduce the total amount you must pay your unsecured creditors (in Chapter 13). (Learn how bankruptcy exemptions work in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.)

Below you can learn what property the Wyoming bankruptcy exemptions protect, whether you can use the federal exemptions in Wyoming, what happens to exemptions if you are married and filing jointly, and more.

You Cannot Use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in Wyoming

Some states allow you to choose between using the state exemptions and a list of federal bankruptcy exemptions. In Wyoming, however, you do not have this choice; you must use the Wyoming bankruptcy exemptions.

Although you can’t use the federal exemptions in Wyoming, you may use any of the federal non-bankruptcy exemptions. The federal non-bankruptcy exemptions protect property such as federal retirement accounts and veterans’ benefits. You can use both the federal non-bankruptcy exemptions and the state exemptions; you don’t have to choose between the two lists.

Married Couples May Double the Wyoming Bankruptcy Exemptions

Unless otherwise stated, if you are married and filing a joint bankruptcy petition, you can double the amount of the Wyoming bankruptcy exemption if you both own the property. If only one spouse owns the property, then you cannot double the amount. 

Common Wyoming Bankruptcy Exemptions

Below are some of the most commonly used bankruptcy exemptions. The statute citations, unless otherwise noted, are to the Wyoming Statutes Annotated.

Homestead Exemption

In Wyoming, you can exempt up to $20,000 of equity in your home, including house trailers. §1-20-101, 102, 103, and 104. (Get more details in The Wyoming Homestead Exemption.)

Personal Property

In Wyoming, you can exempt the below personal property. Unless otherwise stated, these exemptions are all found in §1-20-105 and 106.

  • Bedding, furniture, household articles, and food, up to $4,000 per person in the home.
  • Bible, schoolbooks, and pictures.
  • Burial plot
  • Clothing and wedding rings (but no other jewelry), up to $2,000.
  • Medical savings account contributions. §1-20-111
  • Prepaid funeral contracts. §26-32-102

Motor Vehicle Exemption

In Wyoming you can exempt up to $5,000 of equity in your car, truck, van, SUV, motorcycle, or other vehicle. §1-20-106(a)(iv) . (Learn more about the Wyoming motor vehicle exemption.)

Tools of the Trade

In Wyoming, you can exempt up to $4,000 of either:

  • the library, instruments, and implements of a professional, or
  • the tools, team, implements, or stock used in your trade or business. §1-20-106(b)

Pensions

Tax exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined benefit plans. 11 U.S.C. § 522

IRAS and Roth IRAs to $1,245,475. (This amount is adjusted every three years. For the most recent figure, see Your Retirement Account in Bankruptcy.) 11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C)(n)

Criminal investigators and highway officers. §9-3-620

Firefighters’ death benefits, §15-5-209

Game and fish wardens. §9-3-620

Police officers. §15-5-313(c)

Private or public retirement funds and accounts, including IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs. §1-20-110

Public employees. §9-3-426

Public Benefits

Crime victims' compensation.  §1-40-113

General assistance. §42-2-113(b)

Unemployment compensation. §27-3-319

Workers' compensation. §27-14-702

Insurance

Annuity contract proceeds to $350 per month. §26-15-132

Disability benefits if the contract says you cannot use them to pay a beneficiary’s creditors. §26-15-130

Fraternal benefit society benefits. §26-29-218

Group life insurance or disability policy or proceeds, cash surrender and loan values, waived premiums, and dividends. §26-15-131

Individual life insurance policy proceeds, cash surrender and loan values, waived premiums, and dividends. §26-15-129

Life insurance proceeds held by the insurer if the contract says they cannot be used to pay the beneficiary’s creditors. §26-15-133

Miscellaneous

Liquor license and malt beverage permits. §12-4-604

Wages

You can exempt the following earnings:

  • earnings of National Guard members (§19-9-401)
  • 75% of your disposable earnings or 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is more (§1-15-511, §1-15-408, and §40-14-505)
  • wages of inmates in adult community corrections programs (§7-18-114)
  • wages of inmates in correctional industries programs (§25-13-107)
  • wages of inmates on work release (§7-16-308)

Wildcard Exemption

Wyoming does not have a wildcard exemption.

Confirming the Wyoming Bankruptcy Exemptions

This list includes some of the more commonly used Wyoming bankruptcy exemptions. There may be others. In addition, Wyoming periodically updates its exemption amounts and sometimes adds new exemptions. To find the most current laws, check out the Wyoming Statutes Annotated. Be forewarned, however, that the exemptions are found in various parts of the code. To save time and ensure you’ve got the correct information, consider consulting with a Wyoming bankruptcy attorney. 

by: , J.D.

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