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.
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.
Here are some of the more common exemptions in Mississippi. When reviewing them, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:
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.
85-3-1(h) – Up to $50,000 of any property of a Mississippi resident who is at least 70 years old.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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?