When an individual or couple files for bankruptcy in Missouri, the debtors can exempt or protect property from creditors.
Examples of the types of exemptions available for bankruptcies in Missouri are listed below. Additionally, there is a set of federal exemptions that may be used.
We encourage anyone considering his or her bankruptcy options to contact an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
In situations where nonexempt equity exists, the court bankruptcy often requires the debtor to pay the trustee the value of nonexempt property in order to keep it.
Homestead – Real property up to $15,000 or $5,000 for mobile homes. RSMo 513.430(6), 513.475.
Motor Vehicle – Motor Vehicle up to $3,000. In re Mitchell, 73 B.R. 93.
Jewelry & Wedding Rings – Jewelry up to $500, Wedding Rings up to $1,500. RSMo 513.430(5)
Household Goods/Furnishings – Appliances, household goods, furnishings, clothing, books, crops, animals, musical instruments, computers, etc. up to $3,000. RSMo 513.430(1).
Tools of the Trade – Implements, books & tools of trade up to $3,000. RSMo 513.430(4).
Public Benefits – Missouri exemptions outline for the protection of several types of public benefits such as social security and unemployment benefits. RSMo 513.430(10)(a), 288.380(10)(I), 53.430(10)(c). It is important to speak with a bankruptcy attorney to determine if your public benefits are protected from creditors!
Pensions – Much like public benefits, Missouri exemptions exist for multiple types of pension benefits. 513.430(10)(e), 71.207, 104.250 and others.
Wildcard – Missouri has an exemption commonly called the “wildcard” exemption allowing debtors to protect an additional amount towards any property (including cash!). The amount allowed is based on family size and situation. A head of household may claim an exemption amount up to $1,250. An individual may claim $600. An additional $350 may be claimed per child by the head of household. RSMo 513.430(3), 513.440.
This list of Missouri bankruptcy exemptions is not an exhaustive list of exemptions available to debtors filing bankruptcy in Missouri and is only provided as examples of the types of exemptions available. It is important to discuss your bankruptcy options and what exemptions are available to you (and in what amount) with a licensed Missouri bankruptcy attorney.