Changes to Utah Bankruptcy Exemptions

The Utah legislature increased the dollar amounts for several of the Utah bankruptcy exemptions, and added an exemption for wages. The changes, which became effective on May 14, 2013, are as follows:

Homestead exemption

Real property, mobile home or water rights up to $5,000 if the property is not debtor's primary personal residence; up to $30,000 if the property is debtor's primary personal residence. Proceeds of sale exempt for 1 year.

Personal property exemptions

Motor vehicle up to $5,000; sofas, chairs, and related furnishings for one household up to $1,000; dining and kitchen tables and chairs for one household up to $1,000; animals, books, and musical instruments up to $1,000; heirlooms or other items of sentimental value up to $1,000; firearms to $250.

Wages

Unpaid earnings due as of the bankruptcy filing date in an amount equal to 1/24 of the median Utah annual income if paid more than once per month and 1/12 if paid monthly. Utah Code 78B-5-505(1)(a)(xvi). (The legislature enacted this wage exemption after the Utah Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the provision debtors were previously using to exempt wages was not valid in bankruptcy court.)