New Mexico Bankruptcy Exemptions

Updated December 21, 2016

Like all states, New Mexico 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 Mexico, you may use either the New Mexico 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 Mexico 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 Mexico, 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?  

New Mexico Bankruptcy Exemptions

Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the  New Mexico Statutes Annotated.


42-10-9 —  $60,000.

Personal Property

42-10-1 & 42-10-2  —  Motor vehicle up to $4,000; clothing; books; furniture; health aids; and jewelry up to $2,500.

42-10-10 —  $5,000 of any property if the filer doesn't use the homestead exemption.

48-2-15 —  Building materials.

53-4-28 —  Minimum amount of shares needed for membership in cooperative association.


35-12-7 —  The greater of the following: 40 times the federal hourly minimum wage or minimum of 75% of disposable earnings. Judge may approve more for low income debtors.


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.

10-11-135 & 10-11-136  — Public employee retirement benefits.

10-12B-7 & 10-12C-7  — Judge and magistrate pensions.

29-4-10  — State police pensions.

42-10-1 & 42-10-2 —  Pension or retirement interest or proceeds.

Public Benefits

27-2-21 —  Public assistance.

31-22-15 —  Crime victims' compensation.

51-1-37 —  Unemployment compensation.

52-1-52 —  Workers' compensation.

52-3-37 —  Occupational disease disablement benefits.

Tools of Trade

42-10-1 & 42-10-2 —  $1,500.


42-10-3 —  Life, accident, health or annuity benefits or cash value.

42-10-4 —  Benevolent association benefits up to $5,000.

42-10-5 —  Life insurance proceeds.

59A-44-18 —  Fraternal benefit society benefits.


53-10-2 —  Ownership in an unincorporated association.

54-1A-501 —  Business partnership property.

57-28-5 —  Escrow funds for construction.


42-10-1 —  $500 of any property, other than money.

42-10-10 —  $5,000 of any real or personal property if the filer does not use the homestead exemption.


Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.

Confirming Exemptions

This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in New Mexico. However, it may not include all exemptions, and states often create exceptions to specific exemptions. In addition, New Mexico may have changed the amounts since this list was last updated. Consider checking with your local bankruptcy court or a local bankruptcy attorney.

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