Updated May 20, 2016
In bankruptcy, a homestead exemption protects equity in your home. Here you’ll find specific information about the homestead exemption in the state of New York.
For information about how the homestead exemption works in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, see The Homestead Exemption in Bankruptcy. For more articles on exemptions, see our Bankruptcy Exemptions area.
Under the New York exemption system, the homestead exemption amount varies depending on the county in which the property is situated.
The exemption covers your interest in a house, a condo, a co-op, or a mobile home.
New York allows married couples to double the homestead exemption, allowing each spouse to claim the full amount on the property. Therefore, a married couple can exempt up to $331,100, $275,900, or $165,550, depending on the county.
In New York, the homestead exemption applies to real property, including your home, condominium, co-op or mobile home.
In New York, you can use either the state exemption system or the federal bankruptcy exemption system (but you can’t pick and choose different exemptions from each system – you have to use all state exemptions or all federal exemptions.)
The federal bankruptcy homestead exemption amount is $23,675. (This amount changes every three years. For the most recent figure, see The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions.) The exemption may be used for homes, condos, co-ops, mobile homes, and burial plots. Married couples may double this exemption. You can find the federal bankruptcy homestead exemption at 11 U.S.C. §522(d)(1) and (5).
(To learn more about which state exemptions apply to you, see Which Exemptions Can You Use in Bankruptcy?)
In New York, the homestead exemption is automatic – you don’t have to file a homestead declaration in order to claim the homestead exemption in bankruptcy.
If property is held as a tenancy in the entirety, it means the property is jointly owned by a married couple as a single marital entity, not as individuals. While New York recognizes tenancy by the entirety, the New York homestead exemption does not provide any additional exemption for this type of estate.
New York's homestead exemption is found in the New York state statutes at C.P.L.R. 5206. To learn how to find state statutes, check out Nolo’s Laws and Legal Research area. The New York exemption statute can be found here.