The Arkansas Homestead Exemption

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

Most people want to know whether they can keep valuable property before filing for bankruptcy—especially a home. If you qualify to use the Arkansas homestead exemption, you can protect some or all of the equity in your house. In this article, we explain:

  • how much the Arkansas homestead exemption will cover, and
  • how to apply it in your bankruptcy case.

For more bankruptcy information, read Filing for Bankruptcy in Arkansas. Not only will you find answers, but it includes helpful checklists and a link to an interactive bankruptcy quiz. Or, try the start-to-finish bankruptcy guide, What You Need to Know to File for Bankruptcy.

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.

To help you make an informed choice, we've listed both exemption amounts below. We've also included links to more 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, keep in mind that 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

$25,150

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

Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?

$50,300 is available to spouses who co-own property.

No.

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, 2022.

None.

Compare other federal and state exemptions.

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

Arkansas Bankruptcy Exemptions

Property Protected by Arkansas's Homestead Exemption

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

Timing Your Arkansas Bankruptcy

You can file for bankruptcy in Arkansas after living there for more than 180 days. However, you must live in Arkansas much longer before using Arkansas exemptions—at least 730 days before filing, to be exact. Otherwise, you'd use the previous state's exemptions.

But suppose you lived in multiple states during the two years before filing for bankruptcy. In that case, you'd use the exemptions of the state you lived in for most of the 180 days before the two-year period that immediately preceded your filing. (11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(A).) Learn more about filing for bankruptcy after moving to a new state.

To claim the total value of the homestead exemption in Arkansas, you must have purchased and owned the property for at least 1,215 days before the bankruptcy filing. If you can't meet this requirement, your homestead exemption is limited by federal law.

Learn more about this requirement, the current amount of the federal cap, and other important exceptions to homestead exemptions.

Claiming the Arkansas Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption and Keeping Your Home

In Arkansas the homestead exemption is automatic—you don't have to file a homestead declaration in order to claim the homestead exemption in bankruptcy. When filing for bankruptcy, you'll list your homestead exemption on Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt when completing your bankruptcy forms.

Keep in mind that you'll need to meet other requirements to prevent losing your home in bankruptcy. Find out more in Your Home in Chapter 7 or Your Home in Chapter 13.

Finding 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.

Need More Help?

You might not know this, but Nolo has been making the law easy for DIYers for over fifty years. If you have questions, use the links we've included throughout for more details. Otherwise, you'll find the answers to almost all of your bankruptcy questions at nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/bankruptcy or by consulting with a local bankruptcy lawyer.

This overview cannot provide all of the information you'll need to file a bankruptcy case. For more detailed information, consider buying a self-help book such as How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy by Attorney Cara O'Neill and Albin Renauer J.D.

Updated July 22, 2021

Talk to a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Need professional help? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
Get Professional Help

Get debt relief now.

We've helped 205 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you