Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions

You can protect property in an Oregon bankruptcy using either the Oregon bankruptcy exemptions or federal exemptions.

Update January 31, 2019

You won’t lose all of your assets when filing for bankruptcy in Oregon. You can use Oregon’s bankruptcy exemptions to protect property you’ll need to work and maintain a household, like household furnishings, clothing, and a retirement account. Your other choice—using the federal bankruptcy exemptions—could provide more protection, depending on the assets you own.

Learn more about filing an Oregon bankruptcy case.

Oregon Exemptions v. Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions

Some states, including Oregon, allow residents to choose between the state and federal bankruptcy exemptions. You can’t protect property by using exemptions from both lists—you must pick the system that will work best for you. If you elect to use Oregon’s state exemptions, the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions will be available to you, too.

Common Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions

Here are some of the more common exemptions in Oregon. When reviewing them, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:

  • Joint filing. Unless otherwise noted, when spouses file together in Oregon, each spouse can claim the full amount of the exemption (informally called “doubling”) as long as each spouse has an ownership interest in the property.
  • List and verify your exemptions. You must claim an exemption by listing it in the official bankruptcy forms. You might qualify for exemptions not included in this article, or be required to meet qualification requirements. Consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney is the best way to ensure that you’re protecting your assets.
  • Legal citations. You’ll find each of the statutes in the Oregon Revised Statutes or the federal law.

Oregon Homestead Exemption

18.395 & 18.402 – Equity in a residence up to $40,000 or $50,000 if joint owners. This exemption will cover a floating or manufactured home.

408.440 – All property of a soldier or sailor is fully covered during wartime.

Oregon Motor Vehicle Exemption

18.345 – Equity in a motor vehicle up to $3,000.

Oregon Wildcard Exemption

18.345(1)(p) – Up to $400 of any personal property (not real estate) that isn’t covered under another exemption.

Other Oregon Exemptions

Personal Property

18.345 - Clothing, jewelry, personal items to $1,800 total; household items, furniture, utensils, TVs and radios to $3,000 total (no doubling); health aids; books, pictures & musical instruments to $600 total; food & fuel to last 60 days if debtor is householder; domestic animals & poultry with food to last 60 days to $1,000 (no doubling); lost earnings payments for debtor or someone debtor depended upon needed for support; personal injury recoveries to $10,000.

18.348 - Exempt funds deposited into a bank account up to $7,500.

18.362 - Pistol; rifle or shotgun up to $1,000.

97.675 - Burial plot.

87.075 - Building materials that were to be used for the construction of an improvement.

Wages

18.385 - 75% of disposable wages or court-ordered amount.

292.070 - Wages withheld in a state employee's bond saving account up to $7,500.

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 to maximum (amount changes).

18.358 - ERISA-qualified benefits and payments up to a variable amount.

237.980 - Public officers and employees retirement allowance.

Public Benefits

18.345 & 147.325 - Crime victims' compensation.

18.345(1)(n) - Federal earned income tax credit.

407.125 - Proceeds of veterans' loans and veterans' benefits.

213.130 - Old-age assistance.

344.580 - Vocational rehabilitation.

414.095 - Medical assistance.

401.405 - Civil and disaster relief.

411.760 - General assistance.

655.530 - Injured inmates benefits.

412.115 - Aid to blind.

656.234 - Workers' compensation.

657.855 - Unemployment compensation.

Tools of the Trade

18.345 - Tools or a library of up to $5,000 total.

Alimony and Child Support

18.345 - Alimony and child support needed to support.

Insurance

743.046 - Life insurance proceeds.

743.047 - Group life insurance policy or proceeds.

743.049 - Annuity benefits up to $500 per month.

743.050 - Health or disability insurance proceeds.

748.207 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.

Other

471.292 – Liquor licenses.

67.190 - Partnership property.

Add any applicable federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.

Nonexempt Property—Property You Can’t Protect With an Oregon Exemption

Some people can keep all assets, but that isn’t always true. Here’s what will happen to nonexempt property:

  • In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee appointed to administer your case will sell nonexempt property and distribute the proceeds to creditors. Find out more about the bankruptcy process and the Chapter 7 documents you'll need at each stage.
  • 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, your disposable income, or your nondischargeable debt (support obligations, most taxes, and the like), whichever is more, through your Chapter 13 repayment plan.

You’ll learn more about Chapter 7 and 13 in Which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?

Confirming Oregon Exemptions

This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Oregon, but not all. Specific exemptions could have qualification requirements, and amounts might have changed since this list was last updated. Check the Oregon Revised Statutes 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?

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