(§ 522)—Exempt assets are assets that unsecured creditors (and some secured creditors) cannot reach. Some key points about exemptions are the following:
Partial list of the “popular” items:
NOTE: A husband and wife can double up all of the federal exemptions.
NOTE: ERISA-qualified retirement accounts are protected from creditors, with no limit on the value of the account (Patterson v. Shumate, U.S. S.Ct.). An individual retirement account (IRA) qualified under the Internal Revenue Code may be exempt up to $1,512,350 (and the court can increase the exemption beyond $1,512,350 “if the interests of justice so require”).
But, a “sort of” $189,050 cap on state homestead exemptions for homestead acquired within about 3 years, 3 months of the bankruptcy (1215-day period).
|· Alaska||· New Jersey|
|· Arkansas||· New York|
|· Delaware||· North Carolina|
|· Florida||· Ohio (only TBEs created before 1985)|
|· Hawaii||· Oklahoma|
|· Illinois||· Oregon|
|· Indiana||· Pennsylvania|
|· Kentucky||· Rhode Island|
|· Maryland||· Tennessee|
|· Massachusetts||· Vermont|
|· Michigan||· Virginia|
|· Mississippi||· Wyoming|
Lien Avoidance. Generally, assets subject to liens, cannot be kept by the debtor under the exemptions. However, in certain circumstances, the Bankruptcy Code allows a debtor to avoid (set aside) a lien to free up exemptions (§ 522(f)).
For more information on this article or other bankruptcy related matters, please contact KMK Attorneys Samuel C. Wisotzkey (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Eric R. von Helms (email@example.com). Both can be reached at (414) 962-5110.
 All of the figures stated in Paragraph E and F have been updated effective 4/1/22, and are next scheduled to adjust on 4/1/2025. See Doc. 2022-002299, Published 2-04-22, and available here. Numbers adjusted with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) every 3 years (2022).
 See Wis. Stat. § 815.20. Beware though, that Wisconsin has an additional provision that can result in full avoidance of a judgment lien after a discharge has been granted. Wis. Stat. § 806.19(4). Accordingly, if you have a judgment lien in Wisconsin and your debtor is in bankruptcy, be sure to consult with experienced counsel as soon as possible.
 Last adjusted 4/1/2022. See n.1 above.
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