The Oregon Homestead Exemption

With the Oregon homestead exemption, you can protect up to $40,000 of home equity; more for married couples. Learn more.

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

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

For more bankruptcy information, read How to File Bankruptcy in Oregon. 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 an Oregon Bankruptcy

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

Oregon Homestead Exemption

Homestead exemption amount

$25,150

$40,000

Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?

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

$50,000

Homestead exemption law

11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1)

Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 18.385, 13.395, 18.402, 18.428

Other information

Amounts will adjust on April 1, 2022.

Amounts change periodically.

Compare other federal and state exemptions.

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions

Property Protected by Oregon's Homestead Exemption

Under the Oregon exemption system, a property owner can use the exemption on real property or a floating, manufactured, or mobile home. You can also use the homestead exemption to protect proceeds from the sale of the homestead (for up to one year) as long as you are holding the money with the intent to one of the following:

  • purchase another homestead
  • pay rent for up to one year, or
  • use it for prepaid rent or security deposits for military personnel during wartime.

The homestead must be occupied by the owner, spouse, parent, or child. (check with a local bankruptcy attorney).

If you hold property as tenancy by entirety with your spouse or if you move away: If one spouse files for bankruptcy—not both—the bankruptcy trustee might be prevented from using the property equity to pay off debts. Also, You might be able to use the homestead exemption if you leave temporarily with the intent to move back in. However, these are tricky areas of law. Talk with a local bankruptcy attorney before filing to ensure that you don't lose valuable property.

Timing Your Oregon Bankruptcy

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

In Oregon, 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 Oregon Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption Statute

You'll find Oregon's homestead exemption on the statutes page of the Oregon State Legislature 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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