The New Mexico Homestead Exemption

Learn how the New Mexico homestead exemption can protect your home equity from creditors in a bankruptcy case.

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 Mexico homestead exemption, you can protect some or all of the equity in your house. In this article, we explain:

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

For more bankruptcy information, read How To File Bankruptcy in New Mexico. 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 Mexico Bankruptcy

New Mexico lets filers use either the federal exemption system or New Mexico'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 Mexico Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption amount

$25,150

$60,000

Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?

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

$120,000 is available to spouses who co-own property.

Homestead exemption law

11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1)

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 42-10-9

Other information

Amounts will adjust on April 1, 2022.

Amounts adjust periodically.

Compare other federal and state exemptions.

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

New Mexico Bankruptcy Exemptions

Property Protected by New Mexico's Homestead Exemption

In New Mexico, the homestead exemption applies to the dwelling and the land upon which the dwelling is situated. If the homeowner does not own the land, the homeowner must be leasing or in the process of purchasing the land.

Timing Your New Mexico Bankruptcy

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

In New Mexico, 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 Mexico Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption Statute

You'll find New Mexico's homestead exemption in the New Mexico Statutes Annotated at § 42-10-9 in the New Mexico's online law library and on the New Mexico Compilation Commission 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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