Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal and New Jersey Bankruptcy Exemptions

In New Jersey, you may choose to use either the Federal or State exemptions when you file for bankruptcy.

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions:


522(d)(1) Real property, including mobile homes and co-ops, or burial plots up to $20,200. Unused portion of homestead, up to $10,125, may be used for other property.

Personal Property

522(d)(2) - Motor vehicle up to $3,225.
522(d)(3) - Animals, crops, clothing, appliances and furnishings, books, household goods, and musical instruments up to $525 per item, and up to $10,775 total.
522(d)(4) - Jewelry up to $1,350.
522(d)(5) - $1,075 of any property, and unused portion of homestead up to $10,125.
522(d)(9) - Health aids.
522(d)(11)(B) - Wrongful death recovery for person you depended upon.
522(d)(11)(D) - Personal injury recovery up to $20,200 except for pain and suffering or for pecuniary loss.
522(d)(11)(E) - Lost earnings payments.


522(b)(3)(C) - Tax exempt retirement accounts; IRAs and Roth IRAs up to $1,095,000 per person.

Public Benefits

522(d)(10)(A) - Public assistance, Social Security, Veteran's benefits, Unemployment Compensation.
522(d)(11)(A) - Crime victim's compensation

Tools of Trade

522(d)(6) - Implements, books and tools of trade, up to $2,025.

Alimony and Child Support

522(d)(10)(D) - Alimony and child support needed for support


522(d)(7) - Unmatured life insurance policy except credit insurance.
522(d)(8) - Life insurance policy with loan value up to $10,775.
522(d)(10)( C ) - Disability, unemployment or illness benefits
522(d)(11)( C ) - Life insurance payments for a person you depended on, which you need for support

Current New Jersey Exemptions

The State of New Jersey has exempted the property and income below from seizure by the bankruptcy court to pay creditors:

Real Property: None

Personal Property: Furniture and household goods up to $1,000 [2A:26-4]; clothing, unlimited amount [2A:17-19]; burial plots, unlimited amount [8A:5-10]; any personal property or stock in corporation up to $1,000 total [2A:17-19]

Insurance / Annuities: Annuity contract proceeds to $500 per month [17B:24-7]; group life or health policy or proceeds, unlimited amount [17B:24-9]; disability, death, medical or hospital benefits for civil defense workers, unlimited amount [A:9-57.6]; health or disability benefits, unlimited amount [17:18-12 and 17B:24-8]; life insurance proceeds if proceeds cannot be used to pay beneficiary's creditors, unlimited amount [17B:24-10]; life insurance proceeds if debtor is not the insured [17B:24-6(b)]; military disability or death benefits, unlimited amount [38A:4-8]

Pensions / Retirement Plans: Retirement benefits, unlimited amount [43:13-9]; teachers, unlimited amount [18A:66-51]; alcohol beverage control officers, unlimited amount [43:8A-20]; county employees, unlimited amount [43:10-57 and 43:10-105]; firefighters and police officers, unlimited amount [43:16-7]; city board of health employees, unlimited amount [43:18-12]; civil defense workers, unlimited amount [A:9-57.6]; judges, unlimited amount [43:6A-41]; municipal employees, unlimited amount [43:13-44]; prison employees, unlimited amount [43:7-13]; public employees, unlimited amount [43:15A-53]; school district employees, unlimited amount [18A:66-116]; state police, unlimited amount [53:5A-45]; street and water department employees, unlimited amount [43:19-17]; traffic officers, unlimited amount [43:16A-17]

Public Benefits / Entitlements: Workers compensation, unlimited amt [34:15-29]; unemployment compensation, unlimited amt [43:21-53]; crime victims compensation, unlimited amt [43:21-53]; aid to aged and permanent disability benefits [44:7-35] Wages: Ninety percent of earned but unpaid wages if income under $7,500, otherwise court decides amount [2A:17-56] Miscellaneous: Business partnership property, unlimited amount [42:1-25]

Contact Attorney Ginter

For more information on a chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, contact my office online or by phone at 908-418-4084. I am happy to answer your questions and help you start taking back control of your financial future.