The Pennsylvania bankruptcy exemptions chart, see below, details the property you can exempt or protect from creditors when you file bankruptcy in Pennsylvania. You may exempt any property that falls into one of the exemptions categories below, up to the dollar amount listed. You will be able to kept this exempted property after you file bankruptcy. Please note that there are certain debts which you will not be able to erase in bankruptcy. (see Non-dischargeable Debts)
In Pennsylvania, you also have the choice of using the federal exemption statutes instead of your Pennsylvania exemptions.
An exemption limit applies to any equity you have in the property. Equity is the difference between the value of the property and what is owed on the property. For example, a car valued at $5000 with a loan of $4500 has an equity value of only $500.
If the property is secured by a loan, such as a car or home, and you are current on the payments and the equity is covered by your exemptions, you may elect to keep making payments on the loan and keep this property through the bankruptcy. If all the equity is not covered by your exemptions the trustee may elect to liquidate this asset and distribute the proceeds. Generally, in this case, you would be entitled to the value of your exemption in the asset as a cash payment.
Bankruptcy law allows married couples filing jointly to each claim a full set of exemptions, unless otherwise noted.
To keep non-exempt property, a debtor must generally pay the trustee the value of the non-exempt property.
When you file bankruptcy in Pennsylvania you may also use certain federal exemptions in addition to your Pennsylvania exemptions.
None, however, property held as tenancy by the entirety may be exempt against debts owed by only one spouse
Keystone Saving Ass’n v.
Kitsock, 633 A. 2d 165 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1993)
Accident or disability benefits
Fraternal benefit society benefits
Group life policy or proceeds
Insurance policy or annuity contract payments, where insured is the beneficiary, cash value or proceeds to $100 per month
Life insurance proceeds if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary’s creditors
No-fault automobile insurance proceeds
42-8124( c) (7)
Annotated Statute 40-1141-403;
42-8124( c) (1), (8)
42-8124( c) (5)
42-8124( c) (3)
42-8124( c) (6)
42-8214( c) (4)
42-8124( c) (9)
Property of business partnership
Private retirement benefits if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary’s creditors, to extent tax-deferred; exemption limited to $15,000 per year deposited; no exemption for amount deposited within 1 year of filing
Public school employees
53-764, 53-776, 53-23666
Bibles, schoolbooks & sewing machines
Tangible personal property at an international exhibit sponsored by U.S. government
Uniform & accoutrements
42-8124(a) (2), (3)
Crime victims’ compensation
Korean conflict veterans’ benefits
42-8124(a) (10), 43-863
42-8124( c) (2)
Tools of Trade
Earned but unpaid wages
$300 of any property