Bankruptcy:    Chapter 7,     Chapter 13 (Bill Consolidation),    Chapter 11



Liens and Exemptions

If a creditor has a valid lien on any property (even if the property is exempt), to keep that property, you must be current with the creditor and continue making your regularly scheduled payments to the creditor.  In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy there are some possible exceptions to this requirement.   These exceptions are too detailed to explain on this web page, but we would be glad to discuss them with you when you come in.  There may be some situations in a Bankruptcy case where a creditor has a non-purchase money lien on property which can be avoided. 

Texas Exemption Laws

Here is some general information about Texas Exemption Laws:


Under Texas State Exemption laws, you're allowed to keep you home as long as the property it sits on meets the following criteria:

  Married Single
Urban 10 acres or less 10 acres or less
Rural 200 acres or less 100 acres or less

You'll have to keep making your monthly payments on your home if you wish to keep it.



Under Texas law, you're allowed to keep some personal property.  The following table shows the amounts you may keep:

  Married Single
Jewelry $15,000.00 $7,500.00
Personal Property $60,000.00 $30,000.00
Jewelry is included in the personal property amount.

Personal Property includes but is not limited to the following:


Also, as to vehicles, you can keep only one vehicle for each member of your family holding a driver's license.

Items used in your trade or professsion are also included in the Personal Property amount.  These items include:



bulletTexas Exemptions allow you to claim any life insurance policy at its present value as exempt; however, a member of your family must be a beneficiary of the policy. Life insurance is not limited by the $30,000 or $60,000 personalty limitation.
bulletAll retirement plans qualified under the IRS Code are exempt. This includes, but is not limited to,

However, if your retirement funds are in IRAs, you must not have exceeded the yearly maximum deposits. Qualified retirement plans are not limited by the $30,000 or $60,000 personalty limitation.

bulletUnder Texas Laws, your wages are exempt.


Federal Exemption Laws

Here is some information on Federal Exemption Laws.

bulletIf you're married and you don't have a homestead, you can keep up to $20,450 in cash or cash equivalents, such as stocks and bonds.
bulletUnder Federal Exemption Laws, vehicles, tools of the trade, retirement, life insurance, are all allowed - with substantial variance from Texas State Exemptions as to value limitations and some variance as to item categories.
bulletYou may choose whether you wish to claim Federal or Texas exemptions. To help you decide, an attorney from our office will meet with you in person to help you select the set of exemption laws best for you.

As with any of the other information provided in this website, this information is for general information purposes only. The information on this site is NOT legal advice, nor is any part of it provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship.

March 27, 2000
Copyright 2006 Merv Waage