Updated February 8, 2019
Filing for bankruptcy in Indiana doesn't mean that you'll lose everything. Using Indiana's bankruptcy exemptions, you can keep the property you'll need to maintain a home and employment, such as furnishings, clothing, and a retirement account.
Learn more about filing an Indiana bankruptcy.
Some states allow residents to choose between the state and federal bankruptcy exemptions, but Indiana isn't one of them. You'll use the Indiana's state exemption laws. However, the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions will be available to you, too.
Here are some exemptions that are used commonly in Indiana. When reviewing them, you'll want to consider the following:
34-55-10-2 – Equity in real estate 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 for bankruptcy.
34-55-10-2(c)(2) – Up to $10,250 in any real estate or tangible personal property of the filer's choosing.
34-55-10-2 - Health aids; funds in medical savings accounts and health savings accounts; up to $400 of intangible personal property (except for money owed to you).
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); IRAS and Roth IRAs to the maximum amount. (This amount is set by federal law. See Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions for updates on this dollar amount.)
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 - Military 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)(9), (10) - Education savings account (529 and Coverdell) contributions made more than two years prior to filing; other conditions apply.
30-4-3-2 - Spendthrift trusts.
Add any applicable federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
Some people can keep all assets, but that isn't always true. Here's what will happen to nonexempt property:
You'll learn more about Chapter 7 and 13 in Which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Indiana, but not all. Specific exemptions could have qualification requirements, and amounts might have changed since this list was last updated. Check the Indiana Code or with a local bankruptcy lawyer.
To learn more about bankruptcy exemptions, the state exemption system, and the homestead exemption rules, read Bankruptcy Exemptions – What Can I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy?