Like all states, Idaho 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 – but Idaho is not one of them. In Idaho, you must use the state exemptions below. In addition to this list, you may also use any applicable amounts in the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
Unless noted otherwise, if a couple is married and filing jointly in Idaho, 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?
Idaho Bankruptcy Exemptions
Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the Idaho Code.
55-1003 - Real property or mobile home up to $100,000. Sale proceeds are exempt for 6 months. If property is not yet occupied, must file homestead declaration (55-1004).
11-603 - Health aids; burial plot.
11-604 - Personal injury and wrongful death recoveries needed for support. College savings program account.
11-605 - Motor vehicle up to $7,000; jewelry up to $1,000; clothing, pets; 1 firearm to $750, appliances, furnishings, books, musical instruments, family portraits, and sentimental heirlooms up to $750 per item and $7,500 total; crops cultivated by the debtor on up to 50 acres (including water rights up to 160 inches) up to $1,000; provisions for 1 year.
11-606 - Proceeds for damaged exempt property, for up to 3 months after received.
45-514 - Building materials.
11-207 - Either a minimum of 75% of earned but unpaid wages or 30 times the federal hourly minimum wage - whichever is greater, but not more than $1,500 in a calendar year. Judge may approve more for low income debtors.
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.
11-604 - Retirement plans, government and private pensions, IRAs, Roth IRAs, Keoghs, etc.
50-1517 - Police officers.
55-1011 - ERISA-qualified benefits.
59-1317 - Public employees.
72-1417 - Firefighters.
11-603 - Unemployment compensation, Social Security, veterans' benefits, and federal, state, and local public assistance.
56-223 - General assistance, and aid to blind, aged, and disabled.
72-802 - Workers' compensation.
Tools of Trade
11-605 - Tools, books and implements of trade up to $1,500; arms, uniforms, and accoutrements required to be kept by peace officer, National Guard or military personnel.
Alimony and Child Support
11-604 - Alimony and child support needed for support.
11-603 - Medical or hospital care benefits and amount in medical savings account.
11-604 - Life insurance proceeds for beneficiaries other than the insured.
11-605 - Unmatured life insurance contract, other than credit life insurance contract; unmatured life insurance contract under which the insured is the debtor or the debtor's dependent, up to $5,000.
41-1834 - Death and disability benefits.
41-1833 - Life insurance proceeds, dividends, interest, loan, cash or surrender value if the insured is not the beneficiary.
41-1835 - Group life insurance benefits.
41-1836 - Annuity contract proceeds up to $1,250 per month; if not yet receiving payments from the annuity, then "cash surrender" value to amount of premiums paid during six months before bankruptcy petition.
41-1930 - Life insurance proceeds if policy prohibits use to pay creditors.
41-3218 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
55-1008 - Up to the amount of the homestead exemption, homeowner's insurance proceeds.
23-514 - Liquor licenses.
11-605. Any tangible personal property up to $800.
Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Idaho. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, Idaho 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.