Mississippi Bankruptcy Exemptions

You can protect property in a Mississippi bankruptcy using Mississippi exemption laws.

February 7, 2019

You won’t lose everything when filing for bankruptcy in Mississippi. You’ll be able to use Mississippi’s bankruptcy exemptions to protect the things you’ll need to work and live, such as your home, personal items, and a retirement account.

Mississippi Exemptions v. Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

Some states allow residents to choose between the state and the federal bankruptcy exemptions, but that option isn’t available in Mississippi. You’ll use Mississippi’s state exemptions and, if helpful, the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.

Common Mississippi Bankruptcy Exemptions

Here are some of the more common exemptions in Mississippi. When reviewing them, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:

  • Joint filing. Unless otherwise noted, when spouses file together in Mississippi, each spouse can claim the full amount of the exemption (informally called “doubling”) as long as each spouse has an ownership interest in the property.
  • List and verify your exemptions. You must claim an exemption by listing it in the official bankruptcy forms. You might qualify for exemptions not included in this article, or be required to meet qualification requirements. Consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney is the best way to ensure that you’re protecting your assets.
  • Legal citations. You’ll find each of the statutes in the Mississippi Code Annotated or the federal law.

Mississippi Homestead Exemption

85-3-21 & 85-3-23 – Equity in real estate that you own and occupy up to a value of $75,000 as long as it doesn’t exceed 160 acres. A mobile home will qualify for exemption if you own the land on which it is located (otherwise, use the personal property exemption for a mobile home). Married couples can double the exemption if they’re living in separate residences.

Mississippi Motor Vehicle Exemption

None.

Mississippi Wildcard Exemption

85-3-1(h) – Up to $50,000 of any property of a Mississippi resident who is at least 70 years old.

Other Mississippi Exemptions

Personal Property

85-3-1- Up to $10,000 in value of tangible personal property (not real estate) as follows: any item worth less than $200 each, clothing, furniture, appliances, books, animals, crops, motor vehicles, cash on hand, health aids, one radio, one television, one firearm, one lawn mower, linens, china, crockery, kitchenware, and personal effects, including wedding rings, of the debtor and dependents. This exemption doesn’t include works of art, other electronic entertainment equipment, jewelry (other than wedding rings), and items acquired as antiques.

85-3-1- Equity in a mobile home up to a value of $30,000. This exemption can’t be used along with the homestead exemption. You’ll choose one or the other.

85-3-1 - State health savings plans. Tax-qualified 529 education savings plans, including those under the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program. Proceeds from exempt property.

85-3-17 - Personal injury judgments up to $10,000.

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 maximum (amount changes).

21-29-51, 21-29-257 & 21-29-307 - Municipal employee benefits.

25-11-129 - State retirement benefits.

25-11-201 - Teacher retirement benefits.

25-13-31 & 25-14-5 - Public officer and employee retirement benefits and deferred compensation.

85-3-1(e) - IRAs, Keoghs, and ERISA-qualified benefits, if deposited more than one year before filing.

Public Benefits

43-3-71 - Assistance to the blind.

43-9-19 - Assistance to the aged.

43-29-15 - Assistance to individuals with a disability.

71-3-43 - Workers' compensation.

71-5-539 - Unemployment compensation (cannot comingle with other funds).

85-3-1(i), (j), (k) - Earned income tax credits and state and federal tax refunds up to $5,000 each.

99-41-23(7) - Crime victims' compensation.

Insurance

83-7-5 - Life insurance or annuity proceeds held by the insurer.

83-29-39 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.

85-3-1(b)(ii) - Disability benefits.

85-3-23 - Homeowners' insurance payment up to $75,000 (plus $250 in personal property).

Other

Add any applicable federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.

Nonexempt Property—Property You Can’t Protect With a Mississippi Exemption

Some people can keep all assets, but that isn’t always true. Here’s what will happen to nonexempt property:

  • In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee appointed to administer your case will sell nonexempt property and distribute the proceeds to creditors. Find out more about the bankruptcy process and the Chapter 7 documents you'll need at each stage.
  • In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it works differently. You can keep everything you own, but you’ll pay creditors the value of the nonexempt property, your disposable income, or your nondischargeable debt (support obligations, most taxes, and the like), whichever is more, through your Chapter 13 repayment plan.

You’ll learn more about Chapter 7 and 13 in Which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?

Confirming Mississippi Exemptions

This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Mississippi. However, doesn’t include all exemptions. Also, states often create qualification requirements for specific exemptions, and Mississippi might have changed the amounts since this list was last updated. Check the Mississippi Code Annotated 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?

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