Updated December 20, 2018
Like all states, Connecticut has a set of exemptions a debtor can use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Exemptions determine what property—such as a home, car, instrument, or retirement account—you can keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you must pay to certain creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
For instance, in Chapter 7, the bankruptcy trustee sells the property you can’t exempt. In Chapter 13, you’ll pay the value of your nonexempt property in your three- to five-year repayment plan, or your disposable income, whichever is more.
For more information about these chapters, read When Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Better Than Chapter 13?
In Connecticut, you can use the Connecticut state exemptions or the federal bankruptcy exemptions, but not both. If you choose to use the Connecticut state exemptions, you can also use any applicable amounts in the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
More information about bankruptcy exemptions, including how they work and which state exemption system you should use, can be found in Bankruptcy Exemptions – What Can I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy?
Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the Connecticut General Statutes Annotated, and if a married couple files together in Connecticut, each spouse can claim the full amount of each exemption (informally called “doubling”).
52-352b - Owner-occupied real property, including a mobile or manufactured home, up to $75,000.
52-352 - Motor vehicle up to $1,500.
52-352(b)r - $1,000 of equity in any property of your choosing.
52-321 - Spendthrift trust funds needed for support. Tuition savings accounts.
52-352 - Food, clothing and health aids; appliances, furniture, and bedding; wedding and engagement rings; burial plot; residential utility and security deposits for one residence; proceeds for damaged exempt property; transfers made to a licensed debt adjuster.
52-361a - Minimum 75% of earned but unpaid disposable earnings or 40 times the state or federal minimum hourly wage; the greater of the two amounts will be used.
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 up to current maximums.
5-171; 5-192w - State employees.
7-446 - Municipal employees.
10-183q - Teachers.
52-321a - Medical savings accounts.
52-352b - ERISA-IRAs, Roth IRAs, Keoghs, and other qualified benefits, but only to the extent wages are exempt.
31-272 & 52-352b - Unemployment compensation.
52-352b - Workers' compensation; veterans' benefits; social security; crime victims' compensation; public assistance.
52-352b - Arms, military equipment, uniforms and musical instruments of military personnel; tools, books, instruments and farm animals needed.
52-352b - Alimony, to extent wages are exempt. Child support.
38a-453 - Life insurance proceeds, dividends, interest, or cash or surrender value:
38a-454 - Life insurance proceeds if policy prohibits use to pay creditors.
38a-637 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
52-352b - Health and disability benefits; disability benefits paid by association for its members; unmatured life insurance policy dividends, interest, or loan value up to $4,000, if the beneficiary is a dependent.
52-352d - Farm partnership animals and livestock feed that are required to reasonably run the farm where 50% or more of the partners are from the same family.
Add any applicable federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Connecticut. However, it doesn’t cover all exemptions or any requirements you’ll need to meet. Connecticut might have also changed the amounts since the last updating of this list.
You’ll want to verify the exemptions available to you through independent research or by consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney.
Learn more about filing a Connecticut bankruptcy case.