Arizona Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal bankruptcy exemptions are not available for the State of Arizona.

For couples filing for bankruptcy protection, each person can claim a full set of exemptions unless otherwise noted.

There are some limits on certain exemptions such as equity that you have in a home or in a vehicle. The difference between the cost of the item and the amount owed on the item is the definition of equity. If the item, such as home or vehicle, is secured by a loan and payments are made on time, the equity is protected by your exemptions. If you choose to keep the property, continual timely payments ensure that the property is protected through the bankruptcy.

There are certain possessions that can be exempt or protected from creditors when filing for bankruptcy in Arizona. While there are some debts that cannot be wiped away in bankruptcy, there is property that can be kept.


Homestead: Real property up to $150,000, includes condos, mobile homes (and the land), apartments and co-ops that you occupy. Must record homestead exemption before sale of home.

Insurance: Fraternal benefit society benefits, Group life insurance policy or proceeds, Life insurance cash value up to $2,000 per dependent/ $10,000 total, Life insurance proceeds to $20,000 if beneficiary is spouse or child, Health, accident or disability benefits.

Pensions: Employee contributions to ERISA qualified retirement plans, Deferred compensation plans, Tax deferred annuities, Police officers and firefighters, Members of board of regents, CIA employees, elected officials, Rangers, public safety personnel, Civil service employees, Foreign service employees, Military honor roll pensions, Railroad workers, Social Security, Tax exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, Traditional and Roth IRAs, Medical savings accounts.

Personal Property: (Husband and wife may double personal property), Two beds and bedding, One living room chair per person One dresser, table, lamp, Kitchen table, dining room table & four chairs, Living room carpet or rug, couch, three lamps, three coffee or end tables, Pictures, paintings, personal drawings, family portraits, Refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer, vacuum cleaner, TV, radio, stereo & alarm clock up to $4,000, Bank deposit to $150, Books to $250, Clothing to $500, Wedding & engagement rings to $1,000, Watch to $100, Pets, horses, milk cows and poultry to $500, Musical instruments to $250, Health aids, Funeral deposits to $5,000, Motor vehicle to $5,000 ($10,000, if disabled), Wrongful death awards Wheelchair and prosthesis, Firearm and bible (only one of each), Food and fuel to last 6 months.

Tools of Trade: (Husband and wife may double tools of trade), Arms, uniforms and accoutrements of profession or office required by law, Library and teaching aids of teacher, Tools, equipment, instruments and books to $2,500, Farm machinery, utensils, seeds, instruments of husbandry, feed, grain and animals to $2,500 total.

Public Benefits: Worker’s compensation and unemployment compensation, Welfare benefits.

Wages: Minimum of 75% of unpaid net wages or pension payments, judge may allow more. Earnings of minor child, unless debt is for child.

Miscellaneous: Alimony needed for support, Child support payments, Business partnership property.

Wild Card: None

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