Below is a list of the major exemptions in Texas. The ability to use exemptions is complex and should be discussed with your attorney. Each type of exemption may have restrictions and may periodically change. The major ones are:
- Homestead or proceeds from the sale of the homestead for up to six months after the sale. If the homestead is an urban homestead, up to 10 acres in contiguous lots may be exempted. A rural homestead may be exempted up to 200 acres for a family or up to 100 acres for a single individual. If you have not owned your homestead for 1215 days, different rules apply.
- Personal property up to $50,000 ($100,000 for a family or head of household).
- Certain types of insurance proceeds, annuities, and pensions.
- Public benefits, such as medical or public assistance or unemployment income.
- Tools of the Trade, including a motor vehicle or boat, up to $10,750.
- Wages – 100% of earned but unpaid wages and 75% of unpaid commissions.
- Certain retirement plans such as an IRA, 401(k).
- Tractor, specific number and type of livestock, and certain farming tools.
- One motor vehicle per driver up to a certain limit.
- Two firearms.
Even where the debtor chooses the Texas state exemptions, federal law may still apply to certain property, such as social security benefits.
Common non-exempt assets that the bankruptcy trustee liquidates in Chapter 7 proceedings where the debtor uses Texas state exemptions are: real property other than one’s homestead; debts owed to the debtors such as pending tax refunds; a portion or all of a personal injury claim or other potential claims or lawsuits in which the debtor holds an interest, and cash.