Tennessee Bankruptcy Exemptions

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Assets Exemption State Statutes
Homestead $5,000; $7,500 for joint owners; $25,000 if at least one dependent is a minor child. (If 62 or older, 12,500 if single; $20,000 if married; $25,000 if spouse is also 62 or older.) Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-302
Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-301
  2–15 year lease. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-303
  Property held as tenancy by the entirety may be exempt against debts owed by only one spouse. In re Arango, 136 B.R. 740 aff’d, 992 F.2d 611 (6th Cir. 1993)
In re Arango, 136 B.R. 740 (Bankr.E.D.Tenn. 1992)
In re Arango, 992 F.2d 611 (6th Cir. 1993)
In re Arwood, 289 B.R. 889 (Bankr.E.D.Tenn. 2003)
  Spouse or child of deceased owner may claim homestead exemption. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-301
Insurance Accident, health, or disability benefits for resident & citizen of Tennessee. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-110
  Disability or illness benefits. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (1)(C)
  Fraternal benefit society benefits. Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-25-1403
  Life insurance or annuity. Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-203
 Misc. Alimony, child support owed for 30 days before filing for bankruptcy. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (1)(E)
  Educational trust funds and prepayment plans. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-4-108
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-7-822
Pensions & Retirement Savings ERISA-qualified benefits, IRAs, & Roth IRAs. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (1)(D)
  Teachers. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-5-909
  Health & medical savings accounts. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-105
  Public employees. Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-36-111
  State & local government employees. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-105
Personal Property Bible, schoolbooks, family pictures, & portraits. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-104
  Burial plots to 1 acre. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-305
Tenn. Code Ann. § 46-1-108
  Clothing & storage containers. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-104
  Health aids. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (5)
  Lost future earnings payments for you or person you depended on. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (3)
  Personal injury recoveries to $7,500; wrongful death recoveries to $10,000 ($15,000 total for personal injury, wrongful death, & crime victims’ compensation). Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (2)(B),(C)
  Wages of debtor deserting family, in hands of family. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-109
Public Benefit Aid to blind. Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-4-117
  Aid to disabled Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-4-1112
  Crime victims’ compensation to $5,000 (see personal property). Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-13-111
Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (2)(A)
  Local public assistance. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (1)(A)
  Old-age assistance. Tenn. Code Ann. § 71-2-216
  Relocation assistance payments. Tenn. Code Ann. § 13-11-115
  Social Security. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (1)(A)
  Unemployment compensation. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (1)(A)
  Veterans’ benefits. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (1)(B)
  Workers’ compensation. Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-223
Tools of Your Trade Implements, books, & tools of trade to $1,900. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-111 (4)
Wages Minimum 75% of disposable weekly earnings or 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is more, plus $2.50 per week per child; bankruptcy judge may authorize more for low-income debtors. Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-106
Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-107
Wildcard $4,000 of any personal property including deposits on account with any bank or financial institution.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 26-2-104

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