Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions

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Like all states, Oregon 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. As of July 1, 2013, if you file for bankruptcy in Oregon you can elect to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions instead of the Oregon exemptions. If you do use the state exemptions below, you may also use any applicable amounts in the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.

Unless noted otherwise, if a couple is married and filing jointly in Oregon, 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? 

Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions

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

Homestead

18.395 & 18.402 - Real property you occupy or intend to occupy to $40,000 ($50,000 if joint owners). Property may not exceed 1 block in a city or town, or 160 acres elsewhere. Sale proceeds exempt 1 year if plan to purchase another home. Prepaid rent and security deposit for renter's dwelling.

408.440 - A soldier or sailor's property during a time of war.

Personal Property

18.345 - Motor vehicle to $3,000; clothing, jewelry, personal items to $1,800 total; household items, furniture, utensils, TVs and radios to $3,000 total; health aids; books, pictures & musical instruments to $600 total; food & fuel to last 60 days if debtor is householder; earned income tax credit; domestic animals & poultry with food to last 60 days to $1,000; lost earnings payments for debtor or someone debtor depended upon needed for support; personal injury recoveries to $10,000. 

18.348 - Wages deposited into a bank account up to $7,500, and cash for sold exempt items.

18.362 - Pistol; rifle or shotgun if owned by person over the age of 16, up to $1,000.

65.870 - Burial plot.

87.075 - Building materials that were to be used for the construction of an improvement.

348.863 - Higher education savings accounts up to $7,500.

Wages

18.385 - The greater of the following: $170 per week or minimum of 75% of disposable wages. Judge may approve more for low income debtor.

292.070 - Wages withheld in a state employee's bond saving account.

In re Robinson, 241 B.R. 447 (9th Cir BAP 1999)

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.

18.358 - ERISA-qualified benefits and payments up to $7,500 including IRAs and SEPs.

237.980 - Public officers and employees pension payments up to $7,500.

Public Benefits

18.345 & 147.325 - Crime victims' compensation.

407.125 - Proceeds of veterans' loans and veterans' benefits.

411.706 - Old-age assistance up to $7,500.

344.580 - Vocational rehabilitation up to $7,500.

414.095 - Medical assistance up to $7,500.

401.405 - Civil and disaster relief up to $7,500.

411.760 - General assistance up to $7,500.

655.530 - Injured inmates benefits up to $7,500.

411.706 - Aid to blind and disabled up to $7,500.

656.234 - Workers' compensation up to $7,500.

657.855 - Unemployment compensation up to $7,500.

Tools of Trade

18.345 - Tools, team with food that will last 60 days, or library up to $6,000 total.

Alimony and Child Support

18.345 - Alimony and child support needed to support.

Insurance

743.046 - Life insurance proceeds or cash value if you are not the insured.

743.047 - Group life insurance policy or proceeds.

743.049 - Annuity contract benefits up to $500 per month.

743.050 - Health or disability insurance proceeds.

748.207 - Fraternal benefit society benefits up to $7,500.

Health Savings Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts

Funds in, or distributions from a health savings or medical savings account are exempt. This change became effective July 1, 2013. Or. Rev. Stat. § 18.345(1)(o).

Miscellaneous

471.292 – Liquor licenses.

Wildcard

$400 of any personal property that is not already covered under any other exemption.

Other 

Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.

Confirming Exemptions

This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Oregon. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, Oregon may have changed the amounts since this list was last updated in January of 2012. 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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