New York Bankruptcy Exemption Statutes


$50,000 of real property, including co-op, condo or mobile home.

Personal Property

The following personal property may be exempt, either wholly or up to the dollar amount given:

  • $2,500 of cash (including savings bonds, tax refunds, band and credit union deposits), or $5,000 after exemptions for personal property claimed, whichever amount is less (for filers who do not claim homestead exemption)
  • $2,400 for vehicle
  • $600 of savings & loan savings
  • Burial plot without structure, up to ¼-acre
  • College tuition savings program trust fund
  • Health aids, including service animals (such as seeing-eye dogs) with food
  • Lost future earnings lawsuit awards needed for support
  • Personal injury lawsuit awards up to 1 year after receiving
  • Lawsuit awards for injury to exempt property for 1 year after receiving
  • Lawsuit awards for wrongful death of person filer depended on
  • Security deposit to landlord and/or utility company
  • Spendthrift trust fund principal and 90% of income if trust wasn’t created by the filer
  • The following personal property exemptions may total no more than $5,000 (including annuity claim and claims for farm implements, tools, instruments and military paraphernalia):
    • $450 of pet food to last 60 days
    • $35 of watch
    • Bible, schoolbooks, other books to $50
    • Pictures
    • Clothing
    • Church pew or seat
    • Sewing machine, refrigerator, TV, radio
    • Furniture, cooking utensils, tablewear, dishes
    • Food to last 60 days
    • Stoves with fuel to last 60 days
    • Wedding ring


  • $400 per month of disability or illness benefits
  • Life insurance proceeds and avails if beneficiary is not the filer, or if filer’s spouse took out the policy
  • Life insurance proceeds left with insurance company at death, if policy includes a clause prohibiting proceeds from being used to pay the creditors of the beneficiary
  • Annuity contract benefits owed to the filer, if filer paid for the contract; $5,000 limit if annuity bought within 6 months before filing and not tax-deferred

Pensions (note: tax-exempt retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, defined benefit plans, and traditional and Roth IRAs up to $1,095,000 are exempt under federal law)

  • ERISA-qualified benefits, IRAs, Roth IRAs, Keoghs & income needed for support
  • Public retirement benefits
  • Pensions for the following occupations are exempt under NY law:
    • State employees
    • Teachers
    • Village police officers
    • Volunteer ambulance workers’ benefits
    • Volunteer firefighters benefits

Public Benefits

  • Aid to blind, elderly and disabled
  • Crime victims’ compensation
  • Home relief, local public assistance
  • Public assistance
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Veterans’ benefits
  • Workers’ compensation


  • Wages:
    • 90% of earned but unpaid wages received 60 days before bankruptcy filing and anytime after
    • 90% of earnings of dairy farmer sales to milk dealers
    • Pay from non-commissioned officer, private or musician in U.S. or New York state armed forces is wholly (100%) exempt
  • $600 total of professional furniture, books and instruments
  • Farm machinery, team (oxen, horses, etc.) & food for 60 days
  • Alimony and child support
  • Property of business partnership
  • Uniforms, medal, emblem, equipment, horse, arms, sword of member of military

Real Property Exemptions

C.P.L.R. 5206(a); In re Pearl, 723 F.2d 193 (2nd Cir. 1983) Homestead, real property includuing co-op, condo, or mobile home, to $50,000

Insurance Exemptions

Ins. 3212(d); Debt. & Credit. 283(1) Annuity contract benefits due the debtor, if debtor paid for the contract; $5,000 limit if purchased within 6 months prior to filing & not tax-deferred

Ins. 3212(c) Disability or illness benefits to $400 a month

Ins. 3212(b) Life insurance proceeds & avails if the beneficiary is not the debtor, or if debtor's spouse has taken out policy

Est. Powers & Trusts 7-1.5(a)(2) Life insurance proceeds left at death with the insurance company, if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary's creditors

Personal Property Exemptions

C.P.L.R. 5205(d)(3)Debt. & Cred. 283(2)(d) Alimony, child support

Partnership 51 Property of a business partnership

C.P.L.R. 5205(a)(1)-(6); Debt. & Cred. 283(1) Bible, schoolbooks, other books to $50; pictures; clothing; church pew or seat; sewing machine, refrigerator, TV, radio; furniture, cooking utensils & tableware, dishes, food to last 60 days, to $450; wedding ring; watch to $35; exemptions may not exceed $5,000 total (inlcuding tools of trade & limited annuity)

C.P.L.R. 5206(f) Burial plot without structure to 1/4 acre

Debt. & Cred. 283(2) Cash (inlcuding savings bonds, tax refunds, bank & credit union deposits) to $2,500 or to $5,000 after exemptions for personal property taken, whichever amount is less (for debtors who do not claim homestead)

C.P.L.R. 5205(j) College tuition savings program trust fund

C.P.L.R. 5205(h) Health aids, including service animals with food

Debt. & Cred. 282(3)(iv) Lost future earnings recoveries as needed for support

Debt. & Cred. 282(1); In re Miller, 167 B.R. 782 (S.D. N.Y. 1994) Motor vehicle to $2,400

C.P.L.R. 5205(b) Recovery for injury to exempt property up to 1 year after receiving

Banking 407 Savings & loan savings to $600

C.P.L.R. 5205(g) Security deposit to landlord, utility company

C.P.L.R. 5205(c),(d) Spendthrift trust principal, 90% of income if not created by debtor

Debt. & Cred. 282(3)(iii) Wrongful death recoveries for person you depended on

C.P.L.R. 5205(a),(b) Farm machinery, team, & food for 60 days; professional furniture, books, & instruments to $600 total

C.P.L.R. 5205(e) Uniforms, medal, emblem, equipment, horse, arms, & sword of member of military

C.P.L.R. 5205(d) 90% of earned by unpaid wages received within 60 days before & anytime after filing

C.P.L.R. 5205(f) 90%of earnings from dairy farmer's sales to milk dealers

C.P.L.R. 5205(e) 100% of pay to noncommisioned office, private, or musician in US or NY state armed forces

Retirement Benefits

11 U.S.C. 522(b)(3)(C) Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit-sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, and defined-benefit plans

11 U.S.C. 522(b)(3)(C);(n) Traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,095,000 per person

C.P.L.R. 5205(c); Debt. & Cred. 282(2)(e) ERISA-qualified benefits, IRAs, Roth IRAs, & Keoghs, & income needed for support

Ins. 4607 Public retirement benefits

Ret. & Soc. Sec. Tit. 12 Sec. 110 State employees

Educ. Art. 11 Sec. 524 Teachers

Vol. Amb. Wkr. Ben. 23 Volunteer ambulance workers' benefits

Vol. Firefighter Ben. 23 Volunteer firefighters' benefits

Public Benefits

Debt. & Cred. 282(2)(c) Aid to blind, aged, disabled

Debt. & Cred. 282(3)(i) Crime victims' compensation

Debt. & Cred. 282(2)(a) Home relief, local public assistance

Soc. Serv. 137 Public assistance

Debt. & Cred. 282(2)(a) Social Security, unemployment compensation

Debt. & Cred. 282(2)(b) Veterans' benefits

Work. Comp 33; Work. Comp. 218; Debt. & Cred. 282(2)(c) Workers' compensation



Please note: Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest publication, please visit the state legislature sites directly, or speak with a bankruptcy attorney near you.