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What Can I Keep Using Bankruptcy Exemptions in Texas?

Photo of bills and calculatorIf you are thinking that you may want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Texas, one of your fears is likely that you will have to surrender most or all of your valuable possessions. Luckily, that’s rarely the case. In fact, most people who end up filing Chapter 7 never have to give up anything. Bankruptcy exemptions in Texas often allow you to keep everything, including cars and homes. These exemptions are pretty generous and should make Chapter 7 an even more appealing solution for your debt problems.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemption in Texas

First, the Texas homestead exemption is one of the most generous exemptions available in the nation. Texas law allows you to exempt your home at an unlimited value if it is a primary residence on 10 acres or less in a town or city, or 100 acres if it’s in the country. It is extremely rare for anyone filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy to be forced to give up their home.

The Texas exemption for cars is similarly generous, allowing you to exempt an unlimited value in one vehicle per family member with a driver’s license. Also, even if someone in the family doesn’t have a license, you may still be able to exempt a car for them if they rely on another person to drive them around in it. So, you could keep everyone’s car.

As for personal property, Texas allows you to exempt up to $50,000 worth of personal items. This can include:

  • Up to $12,500 in jewelry
  • Bicycles and other sporting/exercise equipment
  • Furniture
  • Family heirlooms
  • Burial plots
  • Up to two firearms
  • Clothing
  • Pets
  • Some livestock (two horses, 120 fowl, 12 cattle, 60 other livestock)

Pensions, insurance, and retirement accounts are also protected under Texas’ exemptions. Most retirement funds and tax-exempt pensions are exempt in Texas bankruptcy. Benefits and all money that comes from accident, health, life or annuity insurance are also exempted.

Texas bankruptcy exemptions often allow people filing bankruptcy to walk away without having to give up anything at all. This list is not even close to all of the exemptions available to you. Also, each exemption amount is doubled for married couples. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you find and use every exemption available to you so that you don’t lose anything and are able to start fresh.