New York Bankruptcy Exemptions

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in exchange for the wiping out a debtors debt with a discharge, the debtor must surrender all of his or her property to pay off creditors. However, bankruptcy law allows a debtor to keep and protect some property through certain exemptions.  Among the schedules that an individual debtor will file is a schedule of “exempt” property.

For most chapter 7 debtors, virtually all property will be exempt.  New York State bankruptcy exemptions include:

  • Between $75,000 and $150,000.00 in equity in your home depending on the county in which you live;
  • Up to $4,000.00 in equity in your car;
  • With certain exceptions, up to $10,000.00 in certain items of personal property;
  • The full value of pensions and public benefits such as Social Security, unemployment compensation, veteran’s benefits, public assistance and rent stabilized apartments;
  • With certain exceptions, cash up to $5,000 if not using Homestead Exemption;
  • Divorce awards to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependents of the debtor;

If you have questions or concerns about property exemptions in bankruptcy, we urge you to contact The Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C. today by calling 845-232-0202.

This Law Offices of Robert J. Nahoum, P.C. is a Debt Relief Agency. We assist individuals to become debt free through Bankruptcy.

The following is a comprehensive list of the New York State exemptions:

New York State Bankruptcy Exemptions Chart

Asset Description Amount of the Exemption

Cash, Exemption


Includes: cash, bank accounts, saving bonds, and tax refunds


$5,000 – Only available if not using Homestead Exemption.  This exemption will be reduced if using more than $5,000 of Personal Property Exemption or if exempting an annuity that was purchased within the past 6 months.


Homestead Exemption


Home, co-op, condo or mobile home


$150,000 for the following counties: Richmond, Kings, Queens, New York, Bronx, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam.

$125,000 for the following counties: Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Columbia, Albany and Saratoga

$75,000 for all other counties.


Divorce Awards


Payments pursuant to an award in a divorce action, for the support of a wife, where the wife is the judgment debtor, or for the support of a child, where the child is the judgment debtor.


This is exempt to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependents of the debtor.




One per debtor


$4,000 limit.  (If motor vehicle has been equipped for use by a disabled debtor then the limit is $10,000).


New York State College Choice Tuition Savings Program Trust Fund


Funds in an account created pursuant to article fourteen-A of the education law are exempt from application to the satisfaction of a money judgment as follows:


(a)     100% of monies in an account established in connection with a scholarship.

(b)     100% of monies in an account is exempt where the judgment debtor is the account owner and designated beneficiary of such account and is a minor.

(c)     An amount not exceeding $10,000 in an account, or in the aggregate for more than one account, is exempt where the judgment debtor is the account owner.


Personal Property


Stoves and heating equipment with fuel for 120 days, sewing machine, books, photos and family portraits ($500 limit), seat or pew at place of public worship, domestic animals and food for 120 days ($1,000 limit), wearing apparel, household furniture, refrigerator, radio, television, computer, cell phone, crockery, tableware, cooking utensils, health aids, wedding ring, watch, jewelry and are ($1,000 limit), tools of trade ($3,000 limit).  If no homestead exemption is claimed, then $1,000 in personal property, bank account or cash.


The exemption is only available if not using the Homestead Exemption.  The aggregate value of assets allowed to be exempt under this section is limited to $10,000.  This exemption will be reduced if exempting an annuity that was purchased within the past 6 months.


Wrongful Death


Payment due to the wrongful death of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependant.


To the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependents of the debtor.


Pension and Retirement Benefits


Payments under a stock bonus, pension plan such as 401(k), 403(b) or other ERISA approved plan, IRA, profit sharing or similar plans are exempt.


To the extent reasonably necessary to support debtor and dependants unless the plan was established by the debtor or an insider employed the debtor.


Personal Injury Awards


Payment on account of personal bodily injury


$7,500 which does not include pain and suffering or compensation for actual pecuniary loss.


Wild Card for personal property, bank accounts or cash


If no Homestead Exemption is claimed




Cemetery Exemption


Land, set apart as a family or private burying ground is exempt upon the following conditions only: 1. A portion of it must have been actually used for that purpose; 2. It must not exceed in extent one-fourth of an acre; and, 3. It must not contain any building or structure, except one or more, vaults or other places of deposit for the dead, or mortuary monuments.


Completely exempt


Crime Victim Award


An award under a crime victim’s reparation statute




Future Earnings


A payment in compensation of loss of future earnings of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent


To the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependents of the debtor.


Health Aids: Medical and Dental Accessories


Completely exempt


Health Aids: Guide, service or hearing dog


Completely exempt


Insurance: Annuity


The use of this exemption may limit the cash and personal property exemption.


Exempt unless a court finds a portion of such payments are not necessary to meet the debtor’s ordinary financial needs.  Annuities purchased within 6 months of filing are limited to $10,000.


Insurance: Disability Insurance


Completely exempt


Social Security


Completely exempt


Security Deposits


Completely exempt


Public Assistance


Completely exempt


Insurance: Life Insurance


Proceeds from life insurance policies






Property of a partnership






Completely exempt


Trust Funds




90% is exempt.


Unemployment Compensation


Completely exempt


Veterans’ Benefits


Completely exempt




Earnings received within 60 days or any time after income execution by Sheriff


90% of the earnings for his personal services are exempt.


Wages: Armed Forces


Completely exempt


Workers’ Compensation


Completely exempt