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.
If you’re not sure which bankruptcy chapter is best for you, try reading Which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?
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?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when reviewing Oklahoma exemptions:
You’ll find more Oklahoma bankruptcy information in Filing Bankruptcy in Oklahoma.
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.
31-1 - Motor vehicle up to $7,500.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.