Louisiana Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal exemptions in bankruptcy are not available for the State of Louisiana.

Any property that falls into one of the exemption categories below, up to the dollar amount listed, can be exempt in the bankruptcy process. You will be able to keep this exempted property after you file bankruptcy. There are certain debts, which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy.

For instance, if the property is secured by a loan and you are current on the payments, the equity is covered by your exemptions. If you choose to keep making payments on the property, you generally can keep this property through the bankruptcy. The trustee may elect to liquidate the assets and distribute the assets if the equity is over the exempted amount.

Married couples filing jointly can 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.

Assets

Homestead: Property you occupy to $25,000 (if debt is result of catastrophic or terminal illness or injury, limit is full value of property as of 1 year before filing), Property cannot exceed 5 acres in city or town; 200 acres elsewhere, Spouse or child of deceased owner may claim homestead exemption; spouse given home in divorce gets homestead (Husband and wife may not double on the homestead exemption)

Insurance: Group insurance policies or proceeds, Health, accident or disability proceeds, dividends, interest, loan, cash or surrender value, Life insurance proceeds or avails, if policy issued within 9 months of filing, exempt only to $35,000, Fraternal benefit society benefits

Personal Property: Cemetery plot, monuments, Engagement and wedding rings to $5,000, Spendthrift trusts, Arms and military accouterments, Bedding, linen and bedroom furniture, Chinaware, glassware, utensils, silverware and clothing, Family portraits, musical instruments, heating and cooling equipment, living room and dining room furniture, Poultry, fowl, one cow and household pets, Pressing irons and sewing machine, Refrigerator, freezer, stove, washer and dryer, Equipment needed for therapy, Property of a minor child

Pensions: Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit sharing, and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined purchase plans. Traditional and ROTH IRAs to $1,095,000 per person, Gratuitous payments to employee or heirs whenever paid ERISA-qualified benefits, including IRAs, and Keoghs, if contributions made over 1 year before filing for bankruptcy, School employees, Judges, Assessors, Court Clerks, District attorneys, Parochial employees, Municipal employees, Voting registrars, Louisiana University employees, Sheriffs, Police officers, Firefighters, State employees, Teachers

Public Benefits: Crime victims’ compensation, unemployment compensation, Workers’ compensation, Aid to blind, aged or disabled, Public assistance, Earned income tax credit

Tools of Trade: Tools, books, instruments, 1 firearm up to $500, utility trailer, motor vehicle up to $7,500 and pickup truck (under 3 tons) needed for work

Wages: The greater of the following: 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage per week or minimum 75% of disposable weekly earnings. Judge may approve more for low-income debtor.

Wildcard: None

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