Oklahoma Bankruptcy Exemptions

Find out whether you can protect your property in bankruptcy using Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions.

Updated January 18, 2019

When filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in Oklahoma, you won’t lose everything you own. Oklahoma has a set of exemption laws that allow you to protect the property you’ll need to work and live, such as a home, car, and retirement account.

While most people can keep everything they own, that’s not always the case. What will happen to nonexempt property—property you can’t protect with an Oklahoma bankruptcy exemption—will depend on the bankruptcy chapter you file.

  • In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee appointed to oversee your case will sell nonexempt property and distribute the proceeds to creditors.
  • In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it works differently. You can keep everything you own, but you’ll pay creditors the value of the nonexempt property or your disposable income, whichever is more, through your Chapter 13 repayment plan.

If you’re not sure which bankruptcy chapter is best for you, try reading Which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?

Oklahoma Exemptions v. Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

Each state has a set of bankruptcy exemptions, including Oklahoma. Federal law has a list of federal bankruptcy exemptions, too.

Federal exemptions usually come into play when a filer isn’t domiciled in a particular state, for instance, as a result of being out of the country or in the military. But some states allow their residents to choose either the state exemption list or the federal exemption list.

Oklahoma isn’t one of these states. You’ll have to use Oklahoma’s exemptions. However, you can use federal nonbankruptcy exemptions in addition to the state exemptions.

You can learn more about how bankruptcy exemptions work, which state exemption system you should use, and the homestead exemption rules in Bankruptcy Exemptions – What Can I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy?

Common Oklahoma Bankruptcy Exemptions

Here are a few things to keep in mind when reviewing Oklahoma exemptions:

  • Filing jointly. Unless otherwise noted, when spouses file jointly in Oklahoma, each spouse can claim the full amount of the exemption (informally called “doubling”) as long as the spouse has an ownership interest in the property.
  • List and verify your exemptions. To protect your property, you must claim an exemption by listing it in the official bankruptcy forms. Other exemptions exist, and you might be required to meet unlisted qualification requirements. Consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney is the best way to ensure that you’re fully protecting your assets.
  • Legal citations. Legal references are to the Oklahoma Statutes Annotated or federal law.

You’ll find more Oklahoma bankruptcy information in Filing Bankruptcy in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Homestead Exemption

31-1 - Unlimited amount of equity in real property or a manufactured home on up to 160 acres outside of a city or town, or one acre in a city or town. The exemption is limited to $5,000 if the debtor uses more than 25% of the property for business purposes.

Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Exemption

31-1 - Motor vehicle up to $7,500.

Other Oklahoma Exemptions

Personal Property

8-7 - Burial plot.

31-1 - Clothing up to $4,000; furniture, books, portraits, pictures, and health aids; food to last 1 year; 2 bridles and 2 saddles; 100 chickens, 20 sheep, 10 hogs, 5 cows and calves under 6 months, 2 horses and forage for livestock to last 1 year; personal injury, workers' compensation and wrongful death recoveries up to $50,000 total; college savings plan interest; Deposits made into an Individual Development Account; guns for household use up to $2,000; anniversary and wedding rings up to $3,000; household and kitchen furniture; personal computer and related equipment; federal earned income tax credit.

36-6125 - Prepaid funeral benefits.

51-42 - War bond payroll savings accounts.

Wages

12-1171.1 & 31-1 - 75% of wages earned within 90 days before filing bankruptcy. The judge may approve more if you can show hardship.

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 up to the current maximum amount (amount is subject to change).

11-49-126 - Firefighters.

31-7 - Disabled veterans.

11-50-124 - Police officers.

20-1111 - Judges.

47-2-303.3 - Law enforcement employees.

19-959 - County employees.

60-328 - Tax-exempt benefits.

31-1 - ERISA-qualified benefits.

70-17-109 - Teachers.

74-923 - Public employees.

Public Benefits

21-142.13 - Crime victims' compensation.

31-1(A)(23) - Federal earned income tax credit.

40-2-303 - Unemployment compensation.

56-173 - Public assistance and Social Security.

85-48 - Workers' compensation.

Tools of Trade

31-1 - Tools, books, apparatus of trade, and implements to farm homestead, up to $10,000 total.

Alimony and Child Support

31-1 - Alimony and child support.

Insurance

36-3631.1 - Annuity benefits and cash value.

36-2410 - Assessment or mutual benefits.

36-2510 - Limited stock insurance benefits.

36-2718.1 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.

36-3631 - Life, health, accident, and mutual benefit insurance policy cash value or proceeds if the policy doesn’t prohibit it from being used to pay creditors.

36-3632 - Group life insurance policy or proceeds.

36-6125 - Funeral benefits if pre-paid and placed in trust.

Miscellaneous

6-3010 - Beneficiary's interest in a statutory support trust.

37-532 - Liquor license.

54-1-501 - Business partnership property.

Add any applicable Federal Nonbankruptcy Exemptions.

Confirming Exemptions

This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Oklahoma; however, it doesn’t include all of them. Also, states often create exceptions to specific exemptions, and Oklahoma could have changed the amounts since this list was last updated. Consider checking with a local bankruptcy attorney or self-help legal center.

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