New Hampshire Bankruptcy Exemptions

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Like all states, New Hampshire 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.

In New Hampshire, you may use either the New Hampshire state exemptions (listed below), or the federal bankruptcy exemptions (you can find these in Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions). You cannot mix and match from each list. If you choose to use the New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire, 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? 

New Hampshire Bankruptcy Exemptions

Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated.

Homestead

480:1 - Real property, or manufactured home, up to $100,000.

Personal Property

511:2 - Clothing; beds, bedding and cooking untensils; furniture up to $3,500; Refrigerator, cooking stove, and heating stove; sewing machine; provisions and fuel up to $400; books up to $800; 1 hog and 1 pig, or pork if already slaughtered; 6 sheep and their fleeces; 1 cow, and hay up to 4 tons; domestic fowls up to $300; church pew; motor vehicle up to $4,000; jewelry up to $500; any property up to $1,000; and burial plot or lot

512:21 - Proceeds for lost or destroyed exempt property.

Wages

512:21 - Earned but unpaid wages of debtor and spouse; payroll account deposits when designated as such; 50 times the federal minimum hourly wage per week; jury and witness fees; wages of a minor child.

Note: Wage exemptions cannot be uses in bankruptcy. See In re Damast, 136 B.R. II (Bankr. D. N.H. 1991)

Pensions

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.

100A:26 - Public employees.

103:18 - Police officers.

102:23 - Firefighters.

512:21 - Federally created pensions accruing.

512.2 - ERISA-qualified, IRA and Roth IRA retirement accounts.

Public Benefits

167:25 - Public assistance; aid to blind, aged, and disabled.

281A:52 - Workers' compensation.

282A:159 - Unemployment compensation.

Tools of Trade

511:2 - Tools of trade up to $5,000; arms, uniforms, and equipment of a military member; 1 yoke of oxen or horse needed for farming or teaming.

Insurance

402:69 - Firefighters' aid insurance.

418:17 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.

512:21 - Homeowners' insurance proceeds up to $5,000.

Miscellaneous

304A:25 - Business partnership property.

Wildcard

511:2(XVIII) - $7,000 of any property for any unused amounts allowed for tools of trade,jewelry, furniture, books, food & fuel, or motor vehicle.

511:2(XVIII) - $1,000 of any property.

Other

 Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.

Confirming Exemptions

This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in New Hampshire. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, New Hampshire 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. 

 

by: , J.D.

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