April 4, 2017
Like all states, Indiana has a set of exemptions that you can use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Exemptions determine what property (such as a home, car, instrument, retirement account, etc.) you can 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 Indiana is not one of them. In Indiana, you must use the state exemptions below. In addition to this list, you may also use any applicable amounts in the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
In Indiana, a married couple filing jointly can double the exemption as long as they each hold an ownership interest in the property.
To learn more about bankruptcy exemptions, see Bankruptcy Exemptions – What Can I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy?
Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the Indiana Code.
34-55-10-2 - Real or personal property used as a residence up to $19,300; equity in real estate held as tenants by the entirety might be fully exempt if only one spouse files (this does not apply when both owners file for bankruptcy).
30-4-3-2 - Spendthrift trusts.
34-55-10-2 - Health aids; funds in medical savings accounts and health savings accounts; up to $350 of intangible personal property (except for money owed to you)x
34-55-10-2(c)(9), (10) - Education savings account (529 and Coverdell) contributions made more than 2 years prior to filing; other conditions apply.
24-4.5-5-105 - Either 75% of earned but unpaid wages or 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage, whichever is greater. A judge may approve more for low-income debtors.
(In re Haraughty, 403 BR 607 (Bankr. SD Indiana 2009).)
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 (limits apply).
5-10.3-8-9 - Public employees.
36-8-8-17 & 10-12-2-10 - Police officers.
5-10.4-5-14 - State teachers.
36-8-7-22 & 36-8-8-17 - Firefighters.
34-55-10-2(c)(11) - Earned income tax credit.
22-3-2-17 - Workers' compensation.
22-4-33-3 - Unemployment compensation.
Tools of Trade
10-16-10-1 - National guard arms, uniforms, and equipment.
27-1-12-14 - Life insurance policy or proceeds if the beneficiary is spouse or dependent.
27-1-12-29 - Group life insurance policy.
27-2-5-1 - Life insurance proceeds if policy prohibits use to pay creditors.
27-8-3-23 - Mutual life or accident policy proceeds as needed for support.
27-11-6-3 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
27-1-12-17.1 - Employer's life insurance policy on an employee.
23-4-1-25 - Specific business partnership property.
34-55-10-2(c)(2) - $10,250 of real estate or tangible personal property.
Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Indiana. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. And Indiana may have changed the amounts since the last update of this article. Consider checking on the Indiana General Assembly website or with your local bankruptcy court.