Bankruptcy Exceptions in Missouri

Written by: Debt Doctors of Missouri

Protect Your Property Using These Bankruptcy Exemptions

If you are filing for bankruptcy in Missouri, it is important to know any exceptions that may apply to your assets. Property that is not covered by an exemption may be sold or become part of a repayment plan, depending on the type of bankruptcy you file. To learn more about bankruptcy exemptions, you need to speak with a qualified attorney.

At Debt Doctors of Missouri, we have over 25 years of experience helping people throughout Missouri find financial freedom through bankruptcy. We will work with you to determine the applicable exemptions and which type of bankruptcy would be best for you and your family. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact our office at (417) 466-3328 to schedule a free, confidential consultation. 

What Are Bankruptcy Exemptions?

The State of Missouri allows people filing for bankruptcy to protect certain essential assets. These protections are known as bankruptcy exemptions. Allowable exemptions are codified in the Missouri Revised Statutes. However, you should still speak with an attorney to determine what exemptions you may take when you file.

Bankruptcy exemptions allowed under Missouri law include but are not limited to:

  • Homestead exemption: $15,000 of equity in your primary residence or up to $5,000 of equity in a mobile home used as a principal residence.
  • Motor vehicle exemption: Up to $3,000 in value.
  • Personal property exemption: Not to exceed $3,000 in value. Personal property may include household furnishings and goods, wedding apparel, books, animals, musical instruments, etc.
  • Jewelry exemption: This may include a wedding ring up to $1,500 in value or other jewelry up to $500.
  • Tools of the trade exemption: Up to $3,000 in value, may include implements, professional books, or other tools of the trade.
  • Firearm exemption: Not to exceed $1,500 in value.
  • Retirement account and insurance exemption: Certain retirement accounts and insurance policies are exempt such as unmatured life insurance, disability benefits, state employees’ retirement benefits, firefighter retirement benefits, etc.
  • Wildcard exemption: Bankruptcy filers are allowed a wildcard exemption of nonexempt property of up to $600 in value. Heads of household receive a larger exemption.
  • Public benefits exemption: Workers’ compensation, social security benefits, and unemployment are also exempt.

These are only a few of the many exemptions allowed under Missouri law. An attorney can discuss each exemption in detail and help to determine whether you are eligible. 

Can I Use Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in Missouri?

Missouri does not allow bankruptcy filers to use federal exemptions. Filers are limited to state exemptions.

Does It Matter Whether I File Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

The exemptions are the same whether you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The only difference is in how non-exempt property is handled.

What Are the Bankruptcy Exemption Requirements?

You are not automatically allowed to use Missouri exemptions. You must meet certain residency requirements. First, you must have lived in Missouri for over 180 days to be eligible to file for bankruptcy in the state. In order to use Missouri exemptions, however, you must have lived in the state for at least 730 days.

Considering Filing for Bankruptcy in Missouri? Contact Our Office

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Missouri, contact our office at (417) 466-3328 to schedule a free consultation. All bankruptcy case evaluations are confidential and provided without obligation to retain our services.

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