Maine law requires the use of state, rather than federal, bankruptcy exemptions. Some of the major exemptions under Maine law are listed below. However, the amounts listed may be higher if filing bankruptcy as a married couple. Please consult a bankruptcy attorney for more information on filing bankruptcy and declaring exemptions in Maine.

• Homestead (equity in dwelling used as residence)
– Up to $47, 500
– Up to $95,000 if dependents live with you or if you are over 60 or disabled in terms of employment
• Equity in automobile
– Up to $5,000 in one motor vehicle
• Personal property
– Household goods and furniture, clothing, appliances, books, animals, crops, and musical instruments of up to $200 per item
– Up to $750 in jewelry
– One cooking stove, furnaces and stoves for heating, and a limited amount of coal, wood, or petroleum
– Six months of food and farming/agriculture materials for raising food
– Professionally prescribed health aids
– Burial plot, if used instead of homestead exemption
• Tools of the Trade
– One of each type of equipment to raise/harvest farm products
– One boat for commercial fishing
– One of each type of equipment for logging
• Insurance
– Most unmatured life insurance policies
– Some annuity proceeds
– Fraternal benefit society benefits
– Group health/life insurance plans and proceeds
– Life insurance proceeds
• Pensions and retirement benefits
– ERISA plans and benefits, tax exempt retirement funds
– Payments from a pension or other instrument based on age, disability, illness, death, or length of service
– State employee, judicial, and legislative retirement accounts/benefits
• Public benefits
Unemployment benefits
– Workers’ compensation
– Disability benefits
– Crime victims’ compensation
– Public assistance
– Social security
– Veterans’ benefits
• Alimony and child support
– Both alimony and child support, to the extent necessary for the support of family
• Other
– Crime victims’ reparation awards
– Wrongful death awards
– Loss of future earning awards
– Up to $12,500 in personal injury damages
– Business partnership property
• Wildcard (exemption for personal property of your choice)
– Up to $400 in personal property, plus up to $6,000 of unused homestead exemption for certain items (animals, crops, musical instruments, books, clothing, furnishings, household goods, appliances, tools of the trade, jewelry, or personal injury recoveries)

Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Maine laws regarding bankruptcy are complex, and a qualified bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help you navigate the system. A lawyer can also help you avoid common filing mistakes and get all of the exemptions you qualify for.