Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal exemptions are available for the State of Pennsylvania. Residents may choose to use either the state or federal exemptions when they file for bankruptcy protections. This is a list of some of the available exemption in the State of Pennsylvania. You can obtain and more detailed list of exemptions by contacting a qualified Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney in your area. They will be able to list and explain all of the state exemptions.

Exempt property is that which the debtor can keep, based on their specific situation and personal income. After filing for bankruptcy, this property is safe. Be aware that there are certain debts, which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy. These are non-dischargeable debts.

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 is secured by a loan and payments are made on time, the exemptions will protect your equity. A debtor must generally pay the trustee the value of the non-exempt property to keep the property. If you choose to keep the property, continual timely payments ensure protection of the property through bankruptcy.

The best way to determine which exemptions to utilize is to meet with a qualified and proven Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney who can evaluate your individual case and guide you through the process.


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

Pensions: Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money-purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs and defined-benefit plans. Traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,095,000, Private retirement benefits to extent tax-deferred, if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary's creditors; exemption limited to deposits of $15,000 per year made at least 1 year before filing (limit does not, apply to rollovers from other exempt funds or accounts), State employees, Public school employees, Police officers, Municipal employees, County employees, City employees

Insurance: Accident or disability benefits, Fraternal benefit society benefits, Group life policy or proceeds, Insurance policy or annuity contract payments, where insured is the beneficiary, cash value or proceeds to $100 per month, No-fault automobile insurance proceeds, Life insurance annuity policy cash value or proceeds if beneficiary is insured's dependent, child or spouse. Life insurance and annuity proceeds if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary's creditors

Miscellaneous: Property of business partnership

Personal Property: Clothing, Sewing machines, Bibles and books, Military uniforms and accoutrements

Public Benefits: Workers' compensation, Unemployment compensation, Veterans' benefits, Korean conflict veterans' benefits, Crime victims' compensation

Tools of Trade: Seamstress's sewing machine

Wages: Earned but unpaid wages, Prison inmate's wages, Wages of victims of abuse

Wildcard: $300 of any property, including cash, real property, securities or proceeds from sale of exempt property

Need More Information?

Contact a Local Bankruptcy Attorney and get answers to your question for FREE! Complete the form below and a bankruptcy lawyer will contact you to go over your situation and answer your questions. Don't Wait -- Get help today!