The Texas bankruptcy exemptions chart, see below, details the property you can exempt or protect from creditors when you file bankruptcy in Texas. You may exempt any property that falls into one of the exemptions categories below, up to the dollar amount listed. You will be able to kept this exempted property after you file bankruptcy. Please note that there are certain debts which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy. (see Non-dischargeable Debts)

In Texas, you also have the choice of using the federal exemption statutes instead of your Texas exemptions.

An exemption limit applies to any equity you have in the property. Equity is the difference between the value of the property and what is owed on the property. For example, a car valued at $5000 with a loan of $4500 has an equity value of only $500.

If the property is secured by a loan, such as a car or home, and you are current on the payments and the equity is covered by your exemptions, you may elect to keep making payments on the loan and keep this property through the bankruptcy. If all the equity is not covered by your exemptions the trustee may elect to liquidate this asset and distribute the proceeds. Generally, in this case, you would be entitled to the value of your exemption in the asset as a cash payment.

Bankruptcy law allows married couples filing jointly to each claim a full set of exemptions, unless otherwise noted.

To keep non-exempt property, a debtor must generally pay the trustee the value of the non-exempt property.

When you file bankruptcy in Texas you may also use certain federal exemptions in addition to your Texas exemptions.

Applies To Exemption Correlating
  • Unlimited; property cannot exceed 1 acre in town, village, city or 100 acres (200 acres for families) elsewhere; sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after sale
  • May file homestead declaration

Texas Property Code 41.001

Texas Property Code 41.002

Texas Property Code 41.005

Personal Property
  • Athletic and sporting equipment, including bicycles; 2 firearms; home furnishings, including family heirlooms; food; clothing; jewelry (not to exceed 25% of total exemption); 1 two-, three- or four wheeled motor vehicle per member of family or single adult who holds a driver’s license (or who operates vehicle for someone else who does not have a license); 2 horses, mules or donkeys and a saddle, blanket and bridle for each; 12 head of cattle; 60 head of other types of livestock; 120 fowl; and pets to $30,000 total ($60,000 for head of family)
  • Burial plots
  • Health aids
  • Church benefit plan benefits
  • Fraternal benefit society benefits

 Texas Property Code 42.001

Texas Property Code 41.002

  • Life, health, accident or annuity benefits or monies, including policy proceeds and cash values to be paid or rendered to beneficiary or insured
  • Life insurance present value if beneficiary is debtor or debtor’s dependent (see note under personal property)
  • Retired public school employees group insurance
  • Texas employee uniform group insurance
  • Texas state college or university employee benefits
 Miscellaneous  Property of business partnership  
  • County & district employees
  • ERISA-qualified government or church benefits, including Keoghs and IRAs
  • Firefighters
  • IRAs to extent tax-deferred
  • Judges
  • Keoghs to extent tax-deferred
  • Law enforcement officers’ survivors
  • Municipal employees
  • Police officers
  • Retirement benefits to extent tax-deferred
  • State employees
  • Teachers
 Public Benefits
  • Crime victim’s award
  • Medical assistance
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Workers’ compensation
 Tools of Trade
  • Farming or ranching vehicles and implements
  • Tools, equipment (includes boat & motor vehicles) & books
  • Earned but unpaid wages
  • Unpaid commissions to 75% (see personal property)

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