Virginia Bankruptcy Exemptions

The State of Virginia does allow state exemptions in bankruptcy; however, federal exemptions are not available. After filing for bankruptcy, exempt property is safe from creditors. Be aware that there are certain debts which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy. These are non-dischargeable debts. Below is a list of some of the available exemptions in the State of Virginia. You can obtain a detailed list of exemptions by contacting a qualified Virginia bankruptcy attorney in your area. They will be able to list and explain all of the state exemptions.

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, secured by a loan and payments made on time, the exemptions will protect your equity. A debtor must generally pay the trustee the value of the non-exempt property in order 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 bankruptcy lawyer in Virginia who can evaluate your individual case and guide you through the process. Contact an attorney today.


Homestead: Must file homestead declaration before filing for bankruptcy, $5,000 plus $500 per dependent; rents and profits; sale proceeds exempt up to $5,000 ~unused portion of homestead may be applied to any personal property, May include mobile home and land, Surviving spouse may claim $15,000; if no surviving spouse, minor child may claim exemption, Property held as tenancy by the entirety may be exempt against debts by only one spouse

Pensions: Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, defined-benefit, profit-sharing and money-purchase plans and SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, ERISA qualified benefits up to $25,000, Traditional and Roth IRAs up to $1,095,000 per person, State police officers, State employees, City, town and county employees, Judges

Insurance: Burial society benefits, Accident or sickness benefits, Fraternal benefit society benefits, Cooperative life insurance benefits, Group life insurance policy or proceeds, Group life or accident insurance for government officials

Miscellaneous: Property of business partnership

Personal Property: Clothing up to $1,000, Household furnishings to $5,000, Health aids, Bible, Burial plot, Family portraits and heirlooms up to $5,000 total, Motor vehicle up to $2,000, Pets, Prepaid tuition contracts, Personal injury causes of action and recoveries, Spendthrift trusts not created by debtor, Wedding and engagement rings

Public Benefits: Unemployment compensation, Workers’ compensation, crime victims’ compensation unless seeking to discharge debt for treatment of injury incurred during crime, Payments to tobacco farmers

Tools of Trade: Uniforms, arms, equipment of military member, tools, books and instruments of trade, including motor vehicles to $10,000, needed in your occupation or education, For farmer, pair of horses or mules with gear; one cart or wagon, one tractor up to $3,000; 2 plows and wedges; one drag, harvest cradle, pitchfork, rake; fertilizer up to $1,000

Wages: Minimum 75% of weekly disposable earnings or 40 times the federal minimum, hourly wage, whichever is greater; bankruptcy judge may authorize more for low income debtors

Wildcard: $2,000 of any property for disabled veterans, Unused portion of homestead or personal property exemption

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