The Texas bankruptcy exemptions chart (see below) details the property you can exempt, or protect from creditors, when you file bankruptcy in Texas. You may exempt any property that falls into one of the exemptions categories below, up to the dollar amount listed. You will be able to keep this exempted property after you file bankruptcy. Please note that there are certain debts which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy.

In Texas, you have the choice of using the federal bankruptcy exemption statutes instead of your Texas bankruptcy exemptions.

An exemption limit applies to any equity you have in the property. Equity is the difference between the value of the property and what is owed on the property. For example, a car valued at $5000 with a loan against it of $4500 has an equity value of $500.

If the property is secured by a loan, such as a car or home, and you are current on the payments at the time of the bankruptcy, and the equity is covered by your exemptions, you may elect to continue making payments on the loan and keep this property through the bankruptcy. If all of the equity is not covered by your exemptions, the trustee may elect to liquidate this asset and distribute the proceeds. Generally, in this case, you would be entitled to the value of your exemption in the asset as a cash payment.

Texas bankruptcy law allows married couples who are filing jointly to 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.

When you file bankruptcy in Texas you may also use certain federal exemptions in addition to your Texas exemptions.

Texas Exemptions

Homestead Unlimited; property cannot exceed 1 acre in town, village, city or 100 acres (200 acres for families) elsewhere; sale proceeds exempt for 6 months after sale (need not occupy if not acquire another home, Property 41.003) Property 41.001, 41.002
May file homestead declaration Property 41.005
Personal Property Athletic and sporting equipment, including bicycles; 2 firearms; home furnishings, including family heirlooms; food; clothing; jewelry (not to exceed 25% of total exemption); 1 two-, three- or four wheeled motor vehicle per member of family or single adult who holds a driver’s license (or who operates vehicle for someone else who does not have a license); 2 horses, mules or donkeys and a saddle, blanket and bridle for each; 12 head of cattle; 60 head of other types of livestock; 120 fowl; and pets to $30,000 total ($60,000 for head of family) Property 42.001, 42.002
Burial plots Property 41.001
Health aids Property 42.001(b) (2)
Insurance Church benefit plan benefits 1407a-6
Fraternal benefit society benefits 885.316
Life, health, accident or annuity benefits or monies, including policy proceeds and cash values to be paid or rendered to beneficiary or insured Insurance 21.22
Life insurance present value if beneficiary is debtor or debtor’s dependent (see note under personal property) Property 42.002(a) (12)
Retired public school employees group insurance Insurance 3.50-4(11) (a)
Texas employee uniform group insurance 3.50-4(11),1575.006
Texas state college or university employee benefits 1551.011
Miscellaneous Property of business partnership 6132b-25
Pensions County & district employees Government 811.005
ERISA-qualified government or church benefits, including Keoghs and IRAs Property 42.0021
Firefighters 6243e(5), 6243e.1(12),
IRAs to extent tax-deferred 6243e.2(12)
Judges Property 42.0021
Keoghs to extent tax-deferred Government 811.005
Law enforcement officers’ survivors Property 42.0021
Municipal employees 6228f(8)
 Police officers  6243g, Government
 Retirement benefits to extent tax-deferred  811.005
State employees 6243d-1(17), 6243j(20),6243g-1(23B)
Teachers Property 42.0021
Public Benefits Crime victims’ award 56.49
Medical assistance Hum. Res. 32.036
Public assistance Hum. Res. 31.040
Unemployment compensation 5221b-13
Workers’ compensation 8308-4.07
Tools of Trade Farming or ranching vehicles and implements Property 42.002(a) (3)
Tools, equipment (includes boat & motor vehicles) & books Property 42.002(a) (4)
Wages Earned but unpaid wages Property 42.001(b) (1)
Unpaid commissions to 75% (see personal property) Property 42.001(d)

Federal Exemptions

Homestead Real property, including co-op or
mobile home, to $17,450; unused portion of homestead to $8,725
may be applied to any property
(11 USC § 522)
Insurance Disability, illness or unemployment
benefits Life insurance payments for persons who depend on debtor, needed
for support Life insurance policy with loan value, in accrued dividends or
interest, to $9,300Unmatured life insurance contract, except credit insurance policy
Miscellaneous Alimony, child support needed for
Pensions ERISA-qualified benefits needed for
Personal property Animals, crops, clothing, appliances,
books, furnishings, household goods, musical instruments to $425
per item, $9,300 total Health aids Jewelry to $1,150 Lost earnings payments Motor vehicle to $2,775 Personal injury recoveries to $17,425 (not to include pain and
suffering or pecuniary loss)Wrongful death recoveries for person debtor depended on
Public Benefits Crime victims’ compensation Public assistance Social Security Unemployment compensation Veterans’ benefits (d)(11)(A)(d)(10)(A)(d)(10)(A)(d)(10)(A)(d)(10)(A)
Tools of trade Implements, books & tools of
trade to $1,750
Wages NONE
Wild Card $925 of any property Up to $8,725 of unused homestead exemption, for any property (d)(5)(d)(5)