Updated May 24, 2016
Like all states, Texas 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 Texas, you may use either the Texas 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 Texas 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 Texas, 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?
Unless otherwise noted, all law references are to the Texas Revised Civil Statutes Annotated.
Prop. 41.001 & Prop. 41.002 - Unlimited amount, but cannot exceed 10 acres in a city, town, or village, or 100 acres (200 acres for family) elsewhere. Sale proceeds are exempt for 6 months after sale.
Prop. 41.005, 41.021 to 41.023 - If property acerage is larger than what is covered by homestead exemption, may have to file a homestead declaration.
Prop. 41.001 - Burial plots and health aids; books containing sacred writings of a religion (exempt from the $100,000 family/$50,000 single total personal property allowed).
Prop. 42.002 - Home furnishings, including family heirlooms; food; clothing; jewelry up to 25% of the total exemption limit stated below; 2 firearms; athletic & sporting equipment (includes bicycles); 1 motor vehicle for each adult with drivers license or who relies on another to operate a vehicle; 2 horses, mules, or donkeys, with saddle, blanket & bridle for each; 12 head cattle; 60 head other livestock; 120 fowl; food on hand for these animals; and household pets. Total of all items under Property 42.002 (including tools of trade and cash value of life insur