The Arkansas Homestead Exemption

If you file for bankruptcy in Arkansas, the Arkansas homestead exemption protects equity in your home.

By , Attorney · University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

If you're considering filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas, the Arkansas homestead exemption will help you protect the equity in your home. This article explains how much the Arkansas homestead exemption will cover and how to apply it in your bankruptcy case.

Homestead Exemptions Available in an Arkansas Bankruptcy

Arkansas lets filers use either the federal exemption system or Arkansas's state exemption system, so you'll have two homestead amounts to choose between. However, you can't mix exemptions from both lists, so you'll want to select the system that will protect your most important assets.

We've listed both exemption amounts below to help you make an informed choice. We've also included links to complete federal and state exemption lists so you'll have an easier time deciding which set will work best for you.

If you're married, spouses can double some exemption amounts, but not all. Find out about other filing considerations for spouses.

Federal Homestead Exemption

Arkansas Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption amount


Unlimited value of 80 rural acres or one-quarter of urban acreage.

Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?

$55,800 is available to spouses who co-own property.


Homestead exemption law

11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1)

Ark. Const. Art. 9 §§ 3, 4, 5, 6 and Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-66-210, 212, 218

Other information

Amounts will adjust on April 1, 2025.


Compare other federal and state exemptions.

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

Filing for Bankruptcy in Arkansas

What Property Is Protected by Arkansas's Homestead Exemption?

In Arkansas, the homestead exemption applies to real property you use as your home. Arkansas' homestead exemption is unusual, so consult a local bankruptcy attorney.

When Can I Use Arkansas Bankruptcy Exemptions?

You can file for bankruptcy in Arkansas after living there for over 180 days. However, you must live in Arkansas for at least 730 days before filing. Otherwise, you'd use the previous state's exemptions.

If you lived in multiple states during the two years before filing for bankruptcy, you'd use the exemptions of the state you lived in for most of the 180 days before the two-year period immediately preceding your filing. (11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(A).)

Learn more about filing for bankruptcy after moving to a new state, the current amount of the federal cap, and other essential exceptions to homestead exemptions.

Do I Need to File an Arkansas Homestead Declaration?

In Arkansas, the homestead exemption is automatic, so you don't have to file a homestead declaration before filing for bankruptcy to claim the homestead exemption.

Where Can I Find the Arkansas Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption Statute?

You'll find Arkansas's homestead exemption in the Arkansas state statutes at Ark. Const. Art. 9 §§ 3, 4, 5, 6, and Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-66-210, 212, 218 on the Arkansas State Legislature website. Learn about finding state statutes in Laws and Legal Research.

What Else Do I Need to Do to Keep a Home in Bankruptcy?

If you can't protect all of your home equity, you might not be able to keep your home. Typically, the Chapter 7 trustee appointed to your case would sell the house, return the exemption amount to you, pay off the mortgage, and pay creditors with the amount remaining after deducting the trustee's fee.

In Chapter 13, you'd need to pay creditors the value of the nonexempt equity through the Chapter 13 plan. You can learn about other requirements you'll need to meet in Your Home in Chapter 7 or Your Home in Chapter 13.

Claiming the Arkansas Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption

When completing your bankruptcy forms, you'll do the following:

  • disclose your home on Schedule A/B: Property
  • list your home and the homestead exemption law on Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt, and
  • if filing for Chapter 7, explain whether you plan to keep or surrender the home on Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7.

Because your home is likely your most valuable asset, consider consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer to ensure you can protect it in bankruptcy.

Need More Bankruptcy Help?

Did you know Nolo has made the law easy for over fifty years? It's true, and we want to ensure you find what you need. Below you'll find more articles explaining how bankruptcy works. And don't forget that our bankruptcy homepage is the best place to start if you have other questions!

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Helpful Bankruptcy Sites

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We wholeheartedly encourage research and learning, but online articles can't address all bankruptcy issues or the facts of your case. The best way to protect your assets in bankruptcy is by hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer.

Updated September 15, 2023

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