Below are major exemptions available in Alabama bankruptcy. Alabama has opted out of the federal bankruptcy exemptions, and so Alabama law defines and lists the exemptions that can be used. Consult a lawyer to determine the particulars of each exemption, and which exemptions are available to you.

Homestead (equity in dwelling used as residence)

  • Up to $15,000
  • Up to 160 acres

Personal property

The following property are exempt and are unlimited unless stated otherwise:

  • Personal or family burial plot
  • Personal or family church pew
  • Clothing, family portraits/pictures, and books


  • 75% of wages for personal services as an employee

Tools of the trade

  • Military uniform and arms


  • A life insurance proceeds for spouse or child of deceased
  • Fraternal benefit society benefits
  • Mutual aid association benefits
  • Annuity or disability proceeds up to $250/month

Pensions and Retirement

  • IRAs and other “qualified trusts” under the Internal Revenue Code
  • State Employee Retirement system accounts/benefits 
  • Peace Officer retirement benefits
  • Judicial retirement benefits
  • Teacher’s Retirement System retirement accounts/benefits
  • Federal employee retirement benefits 

Public Benefits

  • Public assistance to needy persons, including earned income tax credits
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Crime victims’ compensation
  • Social Security
  • Veterans’ benefits


  • Up to $7,500 in personal property can be exempted (does not include wages, salaries, other compensation)

Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Bankruptcy is a complex process, and it is important to file exemptions correctly under Alabama law. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you to navigate the Alabama bankruptcy system correctly, and to avoid any filing errors.