Like all states, Alaska has its own set of exemptions that you may use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Exemptions determine what property (such as a home, car, instrument, retirement account, etc.) you may keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you must pay to certain creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Some states allow debtors to choose between the state exemption system and a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions. Alaskan law states that debtors may only exempt items found in Alaskan statutes. However, despite this law, the 9th Circuit has permitted Alaskans to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions. In re McNutt, 87 B.R. 84 (9th Cir. 1988). You can find the federal exemption amounts in Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions. You cannot mix and match between the state and federal lists.
If you choose to use the state exemptions, you may also use any applicable amounts in the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
Unless noted otherwise, if a couple is married and filing jointly in Alaska, each spouse may claim the full amount of each exemption. This is informally called “doubling.”
To learn more about bankruptcy exemptions, including how they work, which state exemption system you should use, and special rules for the homestead exemption, see Bankruptcy Exemptions – What Can I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy?
Alaska Bankruptcy Exemptions
Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the Alaska Statutes.
09.38.010 - Up to $72,900. Joint owners may each claim a portion, but the total may not exceed $70,200.
09.38.010 - Apartment or condo owners' association deposits.
9.38.015 - Burial plot; needed health aids; money held in mortgage escrow accounts after July 1, 2008; and tuition credits under advance college payment contract.
9.38.020 - Motor vehicle up to $4,050, if market value is no more than $27,000; pets up to $1,350; jewelry up to $1,350; and household goods, clothing, books, musical instruments, and family portraits and heirlooms up to $4,050.
9.38.030 - Personal injury and wrongful death recoveries, to the extent wages are exempt; cash or other liquid assets up to $1,890 or $2,970 for the sole wage earner with some restrictions.
9.38.060 - Proceeds from damaged, destroyed or lost exempt property.
34.35.105 - Building materials.
9.38.030 & 9.38.050 - Weekly net earnings up to $473, or up to $743 if sole wage earner in a household: If no regular pay, up to $1,890 paid in any month, or $2,970 if sole wage earner in household.
11 U.S.C. § 522 - 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) - IRAS and Roth IRAs to $1,171,150.
9.38.015 - Teachers, judicial & public employees, and elected officers, as to benefits accruing.
9.38.017 - ERISA-qualified benefits, if deposited more than 120 days before filing; medical savings accounts.
9.38.030 - Payments being received from other pensions.
9.38.015 - Alaska longevity bonus, crime victims' compensation and federally exempt public benefits. Prescription drug benefits for senior care. Alaska benefits for low-income seniors. Unemployment compensation.
23.30.160 - Workers' compensation.
43.23.065 - 20% of Permanent Fund dividends (this is income distributed to residents from the state's natural resources).
47.25.210 - General relief assistance.
47.25.550 - Assistance to blind, elderly and disabled adults:
Tools of Trade
9.38.020 - Implements, books or tools up to $3,780.
Alimony and Child Support
9.38.015 - Child support if received from a collection agency.
9.38.030 - Alimony, to extent wages are exempt.
9.38.015 & 9.38.030 - Medical, surgical, and hospital benefits. Disability benefits.
9.38.025 - Life insurance or annuity contracts to a total of $500,000.
21.84.240 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
9.38.015 - Liquor licenses.
9.38.100 - Business partnership property.
Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Alaska. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, Alaska may have changed the amounts since this list was last updated in June of 2011. Consider cross-checking this list with www.legalconsumer.com, which updates the state exemption amounts regularly, or check with your local bankruptcy court.