Updated February 1, 2019
You don’t need to worry that you’ll lose all of your assets when filing for bankruptcy. New Mexico’s bankruptcy exemptions will allow you to protect the things you’ll need to maintain a household and job, such as equity in a home and car, and a retirement account.
Some states, including New Mexico, allow residents to choose between the state and federal bankruptcy exemptions. You can’t protect property using both lists, but if you elect New Mexico’s state exemptions, you can use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions, too.
Here are some of the more common exemptions in New Mexico. When reviewing them, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:
42-10-9 – Up to $60,000 of equity in the filer’s residential property.
42-10-1 & 42-10-2 - Up to $4,000 of equity in a motor vehicle.
42-10-1 - Up to $500 of any personal property (not real estate).
42-10-10 – Up to $5,000 of any real or personal property if the filer doesn’t use the homestead exemption.
42-10-1 & 42-10-2 - An unlimited amount of clothing; books; furniture; health aids. Jewelry up to a value of $2,500.
48-2-15 - Building materials.
53-4-28 - Shares needed for membership in a cooperative association.
35-12-7 - A court-ordered amount or the greater of the following: 40 times the federal hourly minimum wage or minimum of 75% of disposable earnings.
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).
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.
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 the Trade
42-10-1 & 42-10-2 – Tools needed in a trade or profession up to a value of $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.
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 New Mexico, but not all. Specific exemptions could have qualification requirements, and amounts might have changed since this list was last updated. Check the New Mexico Statutes 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?