The Indiana Homestead Exemption

The Indiana bankruptcy homestead exemption allows you to protect $19,300 in home equity; $38,600 if you are married filing jointly.

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

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

For more bankruptcy information, read Filing for Bankruptcy in Indiana.



Homestead Exemptions Available in an Indiana Bankruptcy

In Indiana, you'll use Indiana's state bankruptcy exemptions. Unlike other states, you won't be able to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. However, you can supplement Indiana's state exemptions with the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.

If you're married, keep in mind that spouses can double some exemption amounts. Find out about other filing considerations for spouses.

Indiana Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption amount

$19,300

Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?

$38,600 is available to spouses who co-own property.

Homestead exemption law

Ind. Code § 34-55-10-2(c)(1)

Other information

Amounts adjust every six years (next adjustment 2022).

Where to find other exemptions.

Indiana Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions

Property Protected by Indiana's Homestead Exemption

In Indiana, the homestead exemption applies to residential property or tangible personal property (such as a mobile home) that constitutes your personal or family residence. As a result, a homestead in Indiana can include a home, condominium, trailer, or farm.

If you hold property as tenancy by entirety with your spouse: If one spouse files for bankruptcy—not both—the bankruptcy trustee might be prevented from using the property equity to pay off debts. However, this area is tricky. Talk with a local bankruptcy attorney before filing to ensure that you don't lose valuable property.

Timing Your Indiana Bankruptcy

You can file for bankruptcy in Indiana after living there for more than 180 days. However, you must live in Indiana much longer before using Indiana 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.

Claiming the Indiana Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption

In Indiana, the homestead exemption is automatic – you don't have to file a homestead declaration with the recorder's office to claim the homestead exemption in bankruptcy. Instead, when filing for bankruptcy, you'll list your homestead exemption on Schedule C: The Property You Claim as Exempt when completing your bankruptcy forms. You can find out about other requirements you'll need to meet in Your Home in Chapter 7 or Your Home in Chapter 13.

Finding the Indiana Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption Statute

You'll find Indiana's homestead exemption in the Indiana Code at Ind. Code § 34-55-10-2(c)(1) on the Indiana General Assembly website. Indiana's Department of Financial Institutions adjusts state exemption amounts for inflation every six years (go there to find the most current amount). The next adjustment will be made in 2022. Learn about finding state statutes in Laws and Legal Research.

Need More Bankruptcy Help?

Did you know Nolo has been making the law easy for over fifty years? It's true—and we want to make sure 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 July 19, 2021

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You should not send any sensitive or confidential information through this site. Any information sent through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be treated as privileged or confidential. The lawyer or law firm you are contacting is not required to, and may choose not to, accept you as a client. The Internet is not necessarily secure and emails sent through this site could be intercepted or read by third parties.

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