Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions Increase (Effective April 1, 2016)

Effective April 1, 2016, federal bankruptcy exemption amounts have increased.

Effective April 1, 2016, federal bankruptcy exemption amounts have increased.

The federal exemption amounts changed effective April 1, 2016. Due to this change, the information in Nolo books is outdated. Replace the previous figures as follows:

Home:

  • $23,675 homestead for residential real estate

Personal Property:

  • $3,775 for a motor vehicle

  • $1,600 for jewelry

  • $12,625 total value ($600 per item) for household goods, such as home furnishings, clothing, and appliances

  • $2,375 for tools and books used in your trade or business

  • health aids

Life Insurance and Support:

  • $12,625 in a life insurance policy (loan value, accrued dividends, or interest)

  • all spousal and child support reasonably needed for your support

  • life insurance payments necessary for your support

  • all public assistance, including Social Security, unemployment, disability, and veteran’s benefits

  • $23,675 for personal injury (other than pecuniary loss or pain and suffering )

  • all future earnings awards needed for your support

  • all wrongful death awards related to a person you relied on for support

  • all crime victim compensation

Retirement Account:

  • all tax-exempt retirement accounts ($1,283,025 cap on IRAs and Roth IRAs)

Wildcard:

  • $1,250 plus $11,850 of any unused homestead exemption amount

A married couple filing jointly can double all exemption amounts.

For additional information, read Nolo’s online article The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions. Federal exemption information changes every three years. This information is accurate through March of 2019.