The New Hampshire Homestead Exemption

New Hampshire's homestead exemption allows you to protect up to $120,000 of equity in your home, and twice that amount if you are a married couple filing jointly.

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

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

For more bankruptcy information, read How to File Bankruptcy in New Hampshire. 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 New Hampshire Bankruptcy

New Hampshire lets filers use either the federal exemption system or New Hampshire'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

New Hampshire Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption amount

$25,150

$120,000

Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?

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

$240,000 is available to spouses who co-own property.

Homestead exemption law

11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1)

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 480:1

Other information

Amounts will adjust on April 1, 2022.

Manufactured housing included N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 674:31

Compare other federal and state exemptions.

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

New Hampshire Bankruptcy Exemptions

Property Protected by New Hampshire's Homestead Exemption

In New Hampshire, the homestead exemption applies to residential property, including a house, condominium, or manufactured housing in which you live, as well as the land it's on if you own it as well.

Timing Your New Hampshire Bankruptcy

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

Also, to claim the total value of the homestead exemption, 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 to $170,350 (this figure will adjust on April 1, 2022).

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

Claiming the New Hampshire Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption

In New Hampshire, 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 New Hampshire Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption Statute

You'll find New Hampshire's homestead exemption in the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated at § 480:1 on the New Hampshire Government 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 16, 2021

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