Like all states, New Mexico 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 Mexico, you may use either the New Mexico 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 Mexico 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 Mexico, 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 Mexico Bankruptcy Exemptions
Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the New Mexico Statutes Annotated.
42-10-9 - $60,000.
42-10-1 - Motor vehicle up to $4,000; clothing; books; furniture; health aids; and jewelry up to $2,500.
42-10-10 - $5,000 of any property, in lieu of homestead.
48-2-15 - Building materials.
53-4-28 - Minimum amount of shares needed for membership in cooperative association.
70-4-12 - Tools, machinery and materials needed to dig, drill, torpedo, complete, operate or repair an oil line, gas well or pipeline.
35-12-7 - The greater of the following: 40 times the federal hourly minimum wage or minimum of 75% of disposable earnings. 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.
22-11-42 - Public school employees.
42-10-1 & 42-10-2 - Pension or retirement benefits.
27-2-21 - General assistance.
31-22-15 - Crime victims' compensation.
51-1-37 - Unemployment compensation.
52-1-52 - Workers' compensation.
52-3-37 - Occupational disease disablement benefits.
Tools of Trade
42-10-1 & 42-10-2 - $1,500.
42-10-3 - Life, accident, health or annuity benefits or cash value, if beneficiary is a citizen of New Mexico.
42-10-4 - Benevolent association benefits up to $5,000.
42-10-5 - Life insurance proceeds.
59A-44-18 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
53-10-2 - Ownership in an unincorporated association.
54-1A-501 - Business partnership property.
42-10-1 - $500 of any property.
42-10-10 - $5,000 of any real or personal property, in lieu of homestead.
Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in New Mexico. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, New Mexico 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.