The major exemptions available when filing for bankruptcy in Utah are listed below. Utah has opted out of the federal exemptions. This means that citizens who file for bankruptcy in Utah must use the exemptions listed below. They may not use the exemptions provided by the federal Bankruptcy Code.

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

1) Homestead

  • Up to $30,000 for property used as the debtor’s primary personal residence.
  • Up to $5,000 for property which is not the debtor’s primary personal residence.
  • A burial plot for the debtor and the debtor’s family.
  • "Property" includes real property, mobile homes, or water rights.

2) Equity in automobile

  • Up to $3,000 in value in one motor vehicle. May include a motorcycle that the debtor uses for daily transportation.
  • May not include vehicles used for recreational purposes, such as off-highway vehicles.

3) Personal property

  • All wearing apparel of the debtor or the debtor’s dependents, not including jewelry or furs.
  • All beds and bedding of the debtor or the debtor’s dependents.
  • One each of: refrigerator, freezer, stove, microwave oven, washer, dryer, and sewing machine.
  • Food for twelve months.
  • Artwork depicting or created by the debtor or the debtor’s family.
  • Up to $1,000 in sofas, chairs, and other related furniture.
  • Up to $1,000 in dining room or kitchen tables and chairs.
  • Up to $1,000 in animals, books, and musical instruments.
  • Up to $1,000 in heirlooms and other objects with sentimental value.
  • Up to $250 in firearms.

4) Tools of the trade

  • Up to $5,000 in value for tools, books, and implements of trade.

5) Insurance

  • Fraternal benefit society benefits
  • Disability, illness, medical, or hospital benefits
  • Life insurance proceeds as long as beneficiary is the insured’s spouse or dependent. Limited by the beneficiary’s needs. Does not include payments that were made on the contract within the prior year.

6) Pensions

  • ERISA qualified benefits needed for support
  • State employees
  • Public retirement benefits
  • IRA’s needed for support

7) Public benefits

8) Alimony and child support

  • Amount reasonably necessary for support of debtor and dependents.

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 Utah 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, and also ensure that your exemptions are filed correctly. A qualified Utah lawyer can provide you more information if there is a legal basis for your bankruptcy case.