Maine Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal exemptions are not available in the State of Maine.

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.


Homestead: Real or personal property, including cooperative, used as residence to $35,000, if debtor over age 60 or physically or mentally disabled, $70,000, Sale proceeds for 6 months (Husband and wife may double)

Insurance: Group health or life policy or proceeds, fraternal benefit society benefits, Life, endowment, annuity or accident policy, proceeds or avails, Disability or health proceeds, benefits, or avails, Annuity proceeds to $450 per month, Death benefit for police, fire or emergency medical personnel who die in the line of duty, Life insurance policy, interest, loan value or accrued dividends for policy from person you depended on, up to $4,000, Un-matured life insurance policy, except credit insurance policy

Pensions: Judges, Legislators, State employees, 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, ERISA-qualified benefits, including IRAs, and Keoghs, if contributions made over 1 year before filing for bankruptcy

Personal Property: Food to last 6 months, Fuel not to exceed 10 cords of wood, 5 tons of coal or 1,000 gallons of petroleum, Health aids, jewelry and adornments to $750; no limit for one engagement and one wedding ring, Military clothes, arms and equipment, Motor vehicle to $5,000, Burial plot in lieu of homestead exemption, Cooking stove; furnaces and stoves for heat, Lost earnings payments needed for support, Balance due on repossessed goods, provided total amount financed is not more than $2,000, Household goods and furnishings, clothing, appliances, books, animals, crops and musical instruments not to exceed $200 per item, Feed, seed, fertilizer, tools and equipment to raise and harvest food for one season, Wrongful death recoveries needed for support, Personal injury recoveries to $12,500, not including pain and suffering $400 of any property

Miscellaneous: Alimony and child support needed for support, Property of business partnership, Unused homestead to $6,000 or unused total for tools of trade, personal injury recoveries or household goods and furnishings

Public Benefits: Workers’ compensation, Unemployment compensation, Social Security, Crime victims’ compensation, Veterans’ benefits, AFDC- Aid to blind, aged, or disabled, Maintenance under the Rehabilitation Act

Tools of Trade: Books, materials, and stock to $5,000, Commercial fishing boat to 5-ton, One of each farm implement and its maintenance equipment needed to harvest and raise crops

Wages: None, use federal non-bankruptcy wage exemption

Wildcard: $400 of any property

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