The New York Homestead Exemption

Here's what you need to know about the New York homestead exemption when filing for bankruptcy.

Updated April 26, 2019

In bankruptcy, a homestead exemption protects the equity in your home. The amount of equity you’ll be able to protect in New York will depend on the county in which the property is located.

For filing information, read How Does Bankruptcy Work in New York?

The New York Homestead Exemption Amount

Under the New York exemption system, the homestead exemption amount varies depending on the county in which the property is situated.

  • The exemption amount is $170,825 if the property is in the counties of Kings, Queens, New York, Bronx, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, or Putnam.
  • The exemption amount is $142,350 if the property is in the counties of Dutchess, Albany, Columbia, Orange, Saratoga or Ulster.
  • The exemption amount is $85,400 if the property is in any other county in the state.

The exemption applies to equity in a house, a condo, a co-op, or a mobile home. (NYCPLR §§ 5206 (a), (d), and (e).)

Exemption Doubling for Married Couples

New York allows married couples to double the homestead exemption. Each spouse can claim the full amount on the property as long as they each hold an ownership interest. Therefore, a married couple can exempt up to $341,650, $284,700, or $170,800, depending on the county.

The Scope of the New York Homestead Exemption

In New York, the homestead exemption applies to real property, including your home, condominium, or co-op. It also applies to a mobile home.

Can You Use the Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in New York?

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 either the New York bankruptcy exemptions or the federal exemptions.

The federal bankruptcy homestead exemption 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 can 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 Bankruptcy Exemptions: An Overview.

Homestead Declarations

In New York, you don’t have to file a homestead declaration before claiming the homestead exemption in bankruptcy.

Real Property Held as Tenancy by the Entirety in New York

If the property is held as a tenancy in the entirety, 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.

Finding the New York Homestead Exemption Statute

You’ll find the New York's homestead exemption in the New York state statutes at the Code Civil Practice Law and Rules § 5206. The statutes are maintained on the New York State Senate website.

New York’s exemption amounts adjust every three years with the last adjustment occurring on April 1, 2018, but you won’t find the most recent homestead amount in the statute itself. The updated amounts are found on New York’s Department of Financial Services website (search for “Exemption from Application to the Satisfaction of Money Judgments”).

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.

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