Updated March 28, 2017
Like all states, Louisiana has its own set of exemptions 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 may 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 Louisiana is not one of them. In Louisiana, you must use the state exemptions below. In addition to this list, you may also use any applicable amounts in the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
If a couple is married and filing jointly in Louisiana, each spouse may claim the full amount of each exemption (other than the homestead 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?
Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated.
20:1 - Property you occupy up to $35,000, but cannot exceed 5 acres if the residence in a municipality, or 200 acres if not located in a municipality. Spouses may not double. As to obligations arising directly as a result of a catastrophic or terminal illness or injury, you might be able to exempt the full value of your equity (consult with an attorney).
8:313 - Cemetery plot and monuments.
9:2004 - Spendthrift trusts.
13:3881 - Living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture; clothing; chinaware, glassware, utensils, and silverware (but not sterling); refrigerator, freezer, stove, washer and dryer; bedding and linens; family portraits; musical instruments; heating and cooling equipment; pressing irons and sewing machine; arms and military accoutrements; poultry, household pets and 1 cow; engagement and wedding rings up to $5,000; disaster relief insurance proceeds; one motor vehicle up to $7,500; one motor vehicle modified for a person with a disability up to $7,500; guns and ammunition up to $2,500.
13:3881 - The greater of the following: 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage per week or minimum 75% of disposable weekly earnings. The judge may approve an additional amount for a low-income debtor.
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 $1,283,025.
13:3881 - ERISA-qualified benefit contributions, if deposited more than 1 year before filing.
20:33 - Gratuitous payment given to employee or heirs from an employer.
11:3014 - City of Alexandria employees
11:3770 -- City of Monroe bus drivers
11:3800 - City of Monroe electrical workers
11.1003 - School employees
11.1378 - Judges
11.1403 - Assessors
11.1526 - Court clerks
11.1583 - District attorneys
11.1735 - Municipal employees
11.3823 - New Orleans sewage workers
11:951.3 - Orleans Parish school employees
11.1905 - Parochial employees
11.2033 - Voting registrars
11.2182 - Sheriffs
11.2263 - Firefighters
11.3513 - Police officers
11.405 - State employees
11.704 - Teachers
11.952.3 - Louisiana University employees
23:1205 - Workers' compensation.
23:1693 - Unemployment compensation.
13.3881 - Earned Income tax credit.
46:111 - Public assistance.
46:1811 - Crime victims' compensation.
Tools of Trade
13:3881 - Tools, books, instruments, equipment, and one utility trailer needed for work.
22:298 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
22:1015 - Health, accident or disability proceeds.
22:912 - Life insurance proceeds up to $35,000 if the policy was issued within 9 months of filing; annuity contract proceeds.
22:944 - Group insurance policies or proceeds:
13.3881 - Property of a minor child.
Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Louisiana. However, it doesn't include all exemptions and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, Louisiana may have changed the amounts since this list was last updated. Consider checking with your local bankruptcy court or a bankruptcy attorney.