New York Bankruptcy Exemptions

The New York bankruptcy exemptions chart, see below, details the property you can exempt or protect from creditors when you file bankruptcy in New York. 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 kept this exempted property after you file bankruptcy. Please note that there are certain debts which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy. (see Non-dischargeable Debts)

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 of $4500 has an equity value of only $500.

If the property is secured by a loan, such as a car or home, and you are current on the payments and the equity is covered by your exemptions, you may elect to keep making payments on the loan and keep this property through the bankruptcy. If all 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.

Bankruptcy law allows married couples 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 New York you may also use certain federal exemptions in addition to your New York exemptions.





Real property including co-op, condo or mobile home, to $10,000

Husband & wife may double


In re Pearl, 723 F.2d 193 (2nd Cir. 1983)

Personal Property

Bible; schoolbooks; books to $50; pictures; clothing; church pew or seat; stoves with fuel to last 60 days; sewing machine; domestic animal with food to last 60 days, to $450; food to last 60 days; furniture; refrigerator; TV; radio; wedding ring; watch to $35; crockery, cooking utensils and tableware needed, to $5000 total (with farm machinery, etc.)

Burial plot, without structure to ¼ acre

Cash, the lesser of either $2500, or an amount that, with annuity, totals $5000; in lieu of homestead

Health aids, including animals with food

Lost earnings recoveries needed for support

Motor vehicle to $2400

Personal injury recoveries to $7500 (not to include pain and suffering)

Security deposits to landlord, utility company

Trust fund principal, to 90% of income

Wrongful death recoveries for person you depended on, needed for support



5205(1)-(6), Debtor & Creditor 283(1)


Debtor & Creditor 283(2)


Debtor & Creditor 282(3)(iv)

Debtor & Creditor 282(1)

Debtor & Creditor 282(3)(iii)


5205(c), (d)

Debtor & Creditor 282(3)(ii)


Annuity contract benefits due or prospectively due the debtor, who paid for the contract; if purchased within 6 months prior & not tax-deferred, only $5000

Disability or illness benefits to $400 per month

Life insurance proceeds left at death with the insurance company pursuant to agreement, if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiarys’ creditors

Life insurance proceeds and avails if the person effecting the policy is the spouse of the insured

Insurance 3212(d), Debtor & Creditor 283(1)

Insurance 3212(c)

Estates, Powers & Trusts7-1.5(a)(2)

Insurance 321(b)(2)


Alimony, child support needed for support

Property of business partnership

Debtor & Creditor 282(2)(d)

Partnership 51


ERISA-qualified benefits needed for support, includes IRAs

IRAs needed for support

Keoghs needed for support

Public retirement benefits

State employees

Village police officers

Debtor & Creditor 282(2)(e), 5205(c)

Debtor & Creditor 282(2)(e), 5205(c)

Debtor & Creditor 282(2)(e), 5205(c)

Insurance 4607

Retirement & Social Security 110

Unconsolidated 5711-o

Public Benefits

Aid to blind, aged, disabled, AFDC

Crime victims’ compensation

Home relief, local public assistance

Social security

Unemployment compensation

Veterans’ benefits

Workers’ compensation

Debtor &Creditor 282(2)(c)

Debtor & Creditor 282(3)(i)

Debtor & Creditor 282(2)(a)

Debtor & Creditor 282(2)(a)

Debtor & Creditor 282(2)(a)

Debtor & Creditor 282(2)(b)

Debtor & Creditor 282(2)(c)

Tools of Trade

Farm machinery, team, food for 60 days, professional furniture, books & instruments to $600 total

Uniforms, medal, equipments,. Emblem, horse, arms and sword of military member




90% of earnings from milk sales to milk dealers

90% of earned but unpaid wages received within 60 days prior (100% for a few militia members)


5205(d), (e)


For more information on filing bankruptcy in New York explore New York Bankruptcy Law.