The Kentucky Homestead Exemption

In you file for bankruptcy in Kentucky, the homestead exemption allows you to protect up to $5,000 of 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 Kentucky homestead exemption, you can protect some or all of the equity in your house. In this article, we explain:

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

For more bankruptcy information, read How Bankruptcy Works in Kentucky. 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 a Kentucky Bankruptcy

Kentucky lets filers use either the federal exemption system or Kentucky'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

Kentucky Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption amount

$25,150

$5,000

Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?

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

Yes.

Homestead exemption law

11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1)

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann §§ 427.060, 427.090

Other information

Amounts will adjust on April 1, 2022.

Can be used to protect a burial plot or real property sales proceeds; amount adjusts periodically.

Compare other federal and state exemptions.

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

Kentucky Bankruptcy Exemptions

Property Protected by Kentucky's Homestead Exemption

In Kentucky, the homestead exemption applies to any property, real or personal, you use as a home, including houses, mobile homes, and condominiums. The exemption also applies to burial plots and the proceeds from the sale of a homestead.

Timing Your Kentucky Bankruptcy

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

In Kentucky 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 Kentucky Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption Statute

You'll find Kentucky's homestead exemption in the Kentucky state statutes at Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann §§ 427.060, 427.090 (go to the Kentucky legislature website and select "Kentucky Law" from the navbar). 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 21, 2021

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