Maryland Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal bankruptcy exemptions are not available in the State of Maryland.

All property of the debtor and certain other property received in the future becomes the property of the bankruptcy estate once bankruptcy is filed. The bankruptcy trustee will take control of this property to satisfy the creditors. There is some property which is excluded or exempt which the debtor may desire to keep. Depending on your specific situation, property or asset exemption is determined by your personal income and the individual laws of Maryland.

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.


Homestead: None, however, property held as tenancy by the entirety may be exempt against debts owed by only one spouse.

Insurance: Disability or health benefits, Medical benefits deducted from wages as well as medical insurance payments up to $145 per week or 75% of disposable wages. Life insurance or annuity contract proceeds, dividends, interest, loan, cash or surrender value if beneficiary is a dependent of the insured, Fraternal benefit society benefits

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. ERISA-qualified benefits, including IRAs, Roth IRAs and Keoghs, State employees, Traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,095,000 per person

Personal Property: Health aids, Burial plots, appliances, furnishings, household goods, books, pets and clothing to $1,000 total, Lost future earnings recoveries and any other real or personal property up to $5,000 total, Perpetual care trust funds

Public Benefits: Crime victims’ compensation, General assistance, Workers’ compensation, Unemployment compensation, Baltimore police death benefits

Tools of Trade: Clothing, books, tools, instruments, and appliances to $5,000

Miscellaneous: Business partnership property

Wages: Earned but unpaid wages are exempt as follows: in Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Worcester Counties, the greater of 75% or 30 times federal minimum hourly wages

Wildcard: $6,000 in cash or any property, if claimed within 30 days of attachment or levy, An additional $5,000 in real or personal property

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