The Washington Homestead Exemption

Learn about Washington state's homestead exemption and how it applies in a bankruptcy case.

By , Attorney · University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

In bankruptcy, a homestead exemption protects equity in your home. Here, you'll find specific information about the homestead exemption in Washington. For general information about how the homestead exemption works in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, read The Homestead Exemption in Bankruptcy. For more bankruptcy information, read Filing for Bankruptcy in Washington.

How Much Is the Homestead Exemption in a Washington State Bankruptcy?

Washington lets filers use the homestead exemption under either the federal or Washington state exemption system. However, you can't mix exemptions from both lists, so select the system that will protect your most important assets.

To help you make an informed choice, we've listed the federal and Washington homestead exemption amounts below. We've also included links to more complete lists so you'll have an easier time deciding which set will work best for you. If you're married, remember that spouses can double some exemption amounts, but not all. Find out about other filing considerations for spouses.

Federal Homestead Exemption

Washington Homestead Exemptions

Homestead exemption amount


Homestead exemption amounts depend on the county and the previous year's median value. For instance, 2023 homestead exemptions ranged from $207,100 to $914,300.

Can spouses who file a joint bankruptcy double the exemption?

$55,800 is available to spouses who co-own property.

See acreage limits below.

Homestead exemption law

11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1)

Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 6.13.030

Other information

Amounts will adjust on April 1, 2025.

See below.

Compare other federal and state exemptions.

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

Washington State Bankruptcy Exemptions

Washington Median House Prices by County

What Property Is Protected by Washington State's Homestead Exemption?

You can use the Washington homestead exemption to protect a house, condominium, mobile, or manufactured home serving as your principal residence. You can use the homestead exemption to protect personal property used as a residence, such as a mobile home, but the exemption amount is reduced significantly. (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 6.13.030.)

When Can You Use a Homestead Exemption in a Washington State Bankruptcy?

You can file for bankruptcy in Washington after living there for over 180 days. However, you must live in Washington much longer before using Washington 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 years immediately preceding 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 Washington 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 will be limited to the current federal cap.

You'll also need to meet other requirements. Find out more about keeping your home in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Where Do You Find the Washington Homestead Exemption?

You can search for Washington exemption laws on the Washington State Legislature webpage. However, most statutes don't include updated amounts, and understanding statutory requirements can be challenging. It's best to consult with a local bankruptcy lawyer.

How Can I Avoid Common Mistakes When Using Washington's Homestead Exemption?

Bankruptcy mistakes, such as improperly disclosing or exempting assets, can be costly and often occur when filing without a bankruptcy lawyer. We've covered some of the most basic rules you'll encounter when protecting your home in bankruptcy. However, you must also meet other timing and exemption requirements to prevent losing your home.

A local bankruptcy lawyer's knowledge and expertise will help you avoid losing your home and other valuable assets and ensure you maximize the homestead exemption.

Need More Bankruptcy Help?

Did you know Nolo has made the law easy for over fifty years? It's true, and we want to ensure you find what you need. Below, you'll find more articles explaining how bankruptcy works. And don't forget that our bankruptcy homepage is the best place to start if you have other questions!

Our Editor's Picks for You

More Like This

Which Bankruptcy Chapter Should I File to Keep My House?

Can I Keep My Car in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Options If You Can't Afford a Bankruptcy Lawyer

What to Consider Before Filing Bankruptcy

Hiding Assets in Bankruptcy

Preparing for Bankruptcy: What to Do With Bank Accounts, Automatic Payments, and Utility Deposits

Can I Keep My Tax Refund in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Helpful Bankruptcy Sites

Department of Justice U.S. Trustee Program

United States Courts Bankruptcy Forms

We wholeheartedly encourage research and learning, but online articles can't address all bankruptcy issues or the facts of your case. The best way to protect your assets in bankruptcy is by hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer.

Updated December 19, 2023

Get Professional Help
Get debt relief now.
We've helped 205 clients find attorneys today.
There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please enter a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please enter a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Please enter a valid Case Description
Description is required

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you