What Are Maryland's Bankruptcy Exemptions?

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What Are Maryland's Bankruptcy Exemptions?

Major exemptions available when filing for bankruptcy in Maryland are listed below, with a brief description of each exemption. Maryland has opted not to allow its residents to utilize the federal exemptions, so only Maryland statutes that define and list the exemptions can be used. Note that these exemptions may be doubled for a married couple. These numbers are adjusted for inflation and may be changed again April 1st, 2016.

A lawyer should be consulted to determine the particulars of each exemption and to determine all available exemptions that may be filed.

• Homestead (equity in dwelling used as residence)
- $22, 975 in residential property
• Personal property
- Appliances, furnishing, clothing, books, and pets
- Burial plot  
- Professionally prescribed health aids
• Tools of the Trade
- Professional books, clothing, tools, and inventory of up to $5,000
• Wages
- 75% of disposable wages or $145 per week
- In Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s or Worcester County,  up to 75% of disposable wages or 30 times federal minimum wage
• Insurance
- Life insurance proceeds going to spouse, child, or dependent
- Medical insurance benefits deducted from wages and some medical insurance payments 
- Disability/health insurance benefits
- Fraternal benefit society benefits
• Pensions
- ERISA benefits including IRAs
- State employee retirement benefits
• Public benefits
- Unemployment benefits
- Workers’ compensation
- Public assistance
- Crime victims’ compensation
- Veterans’ benefits
- Social security
• Alimony and child support
- Court-ordered child support payments
- Some alimony payments
• Other
- Settlements or damages from illness, injury, or wrongful death
- Settlements or damages from lost future earnings
- Property of a business partnership
• Wildcard (exemption for personal property of your choice)
- Up to $6,000 in cash and/or property
- Additional $5,000 in personal property 

Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Bankruptcy is a very complicated process and filing an exemption incorrectly can lead to that property being seized, even if the property would have been exempt had the exemption been filed correctly. The Maryland bankruptcy exemption statute must be used when filing for exemptions. A bankruptcy lawyer knows the particulars of filing for bankruptcy, and can recommend what chapter of bankruptcy is right for you. A bankruptcy lawyer can also ensure that your exemptions are filed correctly.

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Last Modified: 12-29-2015 10:44 AM PST

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