What Are Missouri’s Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Are you worried about losing your home if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? What about your car? Missouri’s bankruptcy exemptions help you keep important property during and after bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers quick relief from debt. Missouri law determines which assets and property you may keep and considers those exempt. What property is exempt from creditors in Missouri? 

Keep reading to find out which exemptions may make a difference for you.

Missouri Bankruptcy Exemptions

Bankruptcy exemptions range from protecting your house to your burial plot. When you file for bankruptcy in Missouri, these are the exemptions you’ll have available to you:

Homestead Exemptions

Are you worried about your current or future home? You can exempt up to $15,000 of equity in the house you currently reside in or a house you will live in at a future date.

If you live in a mobile home, you can exempt up to $5,000 of equity so long as the mobile home isn’t attached to another property you own. 

You must live in Missouri for at least two years when you file bankruptcy to receive this exemption. Married couples cannot double up on Missouri’s homestead exemption. 

Vehicle Exemptions

Don’t want to lose your car? You may be able to keep the vehicle if you own or finance it. You can exempt up to $3,000 of equity in a vehicle. Married couples can double their exemption if they own a car together and are filing for bankruptcy jointly.  

Personal Property Exemptions 

What about all of your clothes and furniture? What happens to your personal items? Personal property includes clothes, furniture, books, crops, animals, musical instruments, appliances and more. Up to $3,000 of personal property can be considered exempt during bankruptcy. This amount is $6,000 for married couples. 

What additional types of property are exempt?

  • Tools of the trade. Do you own tools for work? Tools, implements or books regarding your business or trade are protected. You can exempt up to $3,000 of these items.  
  • Burial grounds. If you own a burial plot or grounds, you can exempt up to one acre or $100.
  • Jewelry. Many of us have jewelry that holds monetary and sentimental value. You can exempt up to $1,500 for a wedding or engagement ring. Other pieces of jewelry are exempt for up to $500 total. 
  • Firearms. Are you a gun owner? Firearms are exempt for up to $1,500 value. 

Missouri residents also can make use of the wildcard exemption. The wildcard lets you exempt up to $600 more in any property. Plus, if you’re the head of the family, you can exempt an additional $1,250 of value in the property of your choice. Have kids? The head of household can exempt $350 more in any property for each dependent under 21 or with a disability. 

Benefits, Retirement & Support

What about your insurance or Social Security benefits? Can those be taken from you to pay back debts? Missouri bankruptcy exemptions also cover: 

  • Domestic support. Are you receiving alimony or child support? Up to $750 per month in child support or alimony is exempt. 
  • Insurance benefits. Up to $150,000 cash value of life insurance is exempt if you purchased the policy more than six months before your bankruptcy filing. 
  • Health savings accounts. Your health savings account is exempt up to the full amount of the account. 
  • Retirement accounts. Your 401k, IRA, Roth IRA or state retirement accounts are safe. They are exempt in full. 
  • Public benefits. Your public benefits, like SSI, SSDI or veteran’s benefits, are protected and exempt in full. Workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation can also be exempt up to its total value. 

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not necessarily mean you will lose everything. Depending on your financial situation, Missouri’s bankruptcy exemptions can help you keep your house, car and personal property while relieving you from the burden of debt. Speaking with an attorney will help you determine which chapter of bankruptcy to file and what property you can keep if you plan to file Chapter 7. 

Is Chapter 7 bankruptcy the right option for you?

Contact Reynolds & Gold. We will help you resolve your debt. 

A young woman receives a call from a debt collector.