Updated December 22, 2016
Like all states, New Hampshire has its own set of exemptions that you may 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.
In New Hampshire, you may use either the New Hampshire state exemptions (listed below), or the federal bankruptcy exemptions (you can find these in Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions). You cannot mix and match from each list. If you choose to use the New Hampshire state exemptions, you may also use any applicable amounts in the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
Unless noted otherwise, if a couple is married and filing jointly in New Hampshire, each spouse may claim the full amount of each 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 New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated.
480:1 - Real property, or manufactured home, up to $120,000.
511:2 - Clothing; beds, bedding and cooking utensils; furniture up to $3,500; Refrigerator, cooking stove, and heating stove; sewing machine; provisions and fuel up to $400; books up to $800; 1 hog and 1 pig, or pork if already slaughtered; 6 sheep and their fleeces; 1 cow, and hay up to 4 tons; domestic fowls up to $300; church pew; motor vehicle up to $4,000; jewelry up to $500; any property up to $1,000; and burial plot or lot
512:21 - Proceeds for lost or destroyed exempt property, up to $5,000.
512:21 - Earned but unpaid wages of debtor and spouse; payroll account deposits when designated as such; 50 times the federal minimum hourly wage per week; jury and witness fees; wages of a minor child.
Note: Wage exemptions cannot be uses in bankruptcy. See In re Damast, 136 B.R. II (Bankr. D. N.H. 1991)
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.
100A:26 - Public employees.
103:18 - Police officers.
102:23 - Firefighters.
512:21(IV) - Pensions or bounty money.
512.2 - ERISA-qualified, IRA and Roth IRA retirement accounts.
167:25 - Public assistance; aid to blind, aged, and disabled.
281A:52 - Workers' compensation.
282A:159 - Unemployment compensation.
Tools of Trade
511:2 - Tools of trade up to $5,000; arms, uniforms, and equipment of a military member; 1 yoke of oxen or horse needed for farming or teaming.
402:69 - Firefighters' aid insurance.
418:17 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
512:21 - Homeowners' insurance proceeds up to $5,000.
304A:25 - Business partnership property (particular property).
511:2(XVIII) - $7,000 of any property for any unused amounts allowed for tools of trade, jewelry, furniture, books, food & fuel, or motor vehicle.
511:2(XVIII) - $1,000 of any property.
Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in New Hampshire. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, New Hampshire may have changed the amounts since this list was last updated. Consider checking with your local bankruptcy court or a bankruptcy attorney.