Like all states, Mississippi 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 Mississippi is not one of them. In Mississippi, 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 Mississippi, 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?
Mississippi Bankruptcy Exemptions
Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the Mississippi Code.
85-3-21 & 85-3-23 - Property you own and occupy to $75,000, but cannot exceed 160 acres. You may claim a former residence if you are over 60 and married or widowed. Sale proceeds are also exempt. Mobile home may qualify for exemption if you own land on which it is located. May file homestead declaration. Married couples can double only if they are living in separate residences.
85-3-1 - Mobile home up to $30,000. State health savings plans. Tax-qualified 529 education savings plans, including those under the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program. Proceeds from exempt property. Tangible personal property of the following items up to a cumulative total of $10,000: any item worth less than $200 each, clothing, furniture, appliances, 1 radio and 1 television, 1 firearm, 1 lawn mower, linens, china, crockery, kitchenware, and personal effects (including wedding rings) of the debtor and dependents (but not works of art, other electronic entertainment equipment, jewelry (other than wedding rings), and items acquired as antiques), books, animals, crops, motor vehicles, cash on hand, health aids.
85-3-17 - Personal injury judgments up to $10,000.
85-3-4 - Earned but unpaid wages owed for 30 days; after 30 days, the greater of the following: minimum 75% of unpaid weekly earnings or 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage; judge may allow 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.
21-29-257 - Police officers and firefighters.
25-11-129 - Public employees retirement and disability benefits.
25-11-201 - Teachers.
25-13-31 - Highway patrol officers.
25-14-5 - State employees.
45-2-1 - Volunteer firefighters' and law enforcement officers' death benefits.
71-1-43 - Private retirement benefits to the extent that they re tax-deferred.
85-3-1 - IRAs, Keoghs, and ERISA-qualified benefits, if deposited more than 1 year before filing.
25-11-129 - Social Security.
43-3-71 - Assistance to blind.
43-9-19 - Assistance to aged.
43-29-15 - Assistance to disabled.
71-3-43 - Workers' compensation.
71-5-539 - Unemployment compensation.
85-3-1 - Earned income tax credits and state and federal tax refunds up to $5,000 each.
99-41-23 - Crime victims' compensation.
83-7-5 - Life insurance proceeds if policy prohibits use to pay creditors.
83-29-39 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
85-3-1 - Disability benefits.
85-3-23 - Homeowners' insurance proceeds up to $75,000.
85-3-1(h) - $50,000 of any property, including monetary deposits, available to a Mississippi resident who is at least 70 years old.
Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Mississippi. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, Mississippi 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.