Most Common Arizona Bankruptcy Exemptions

Hamid Jabbar

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Litigation Lawyer - Phoenix, AZ

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Posted over 3 years ago. Applies to Arizona, 0 helpful votes

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1

Homestead Exemptions

Debtors may claim a homestead exemption in up to $150,000 of equity in the real property upon which the debtor's house sits, condo or co-op, a mobile home in which the debtor resides and the land upon which the mobile home is located A.R.S. ? 33-1101. This statute has been interpreted to allow the use of the homestead exemption to claim an exemption in a motor home in which a debtor resides as his/her primary residence. See In re Irwin, 293 BR 28 (Bankr. D. Ariz. 2003) (holding that "motor home" can satisfy the definition and purpose of Arizona's homestead law). This exemption cannot be doubled for husband and wife.

2

Motor Vehicles

Debtors may exempt one car with fair market value up to $5,000. If the debtor is physically disabled, that exemption is doubled to $10,000. A.R.S. ?33-1125(8). Married filers may claim up to $5,000 exemption in two cars or they may stack their exemption and claim up to $10,000 exempt in one single vehicle. Married debtors may not split this exemption, for example by claiming one vehicle worth $3,000 exempt and another vehicle worth $7,000 exempt. The value of the vehicle should be assessed using Kelley Blue Book or NADA.

3

Money/Bank Accounts

Debtors may not exempt any amount of cash. However, Arizona provides an exemption of $150 for money in one bank account. A.R.S. ? 33-1126(A)(9). Married filers may double this exemption to $300. Prior to filing their case, debtors may use excess money in their account to purchase exempt property described herein, to pay their attorneys' fees, and to pay everyday expenses. Debtors may not spend down money in a bank account on paying off select debts such as those to family members.

4

Household Goods

Household Goods and Furnishings. Debtors may claim up to $4,000 exempt in household furniture, furnishings and appliances used personally by the debtor. This exemption can be doubled to $8,000 for married filers. A.R.S. ? 33-1123. -One kitchen and one dining room table with four chairs each -One living room couch -One living room chair, plus one additional chair for each depending of the debtor who resides in the household -Three living room coffee or end tables -Three living room lamps -One living room carpet or rug -Two beds, plus one additional bed for each dependent of the debtor who resides in the household -One bed table, dresser and lamp for each bed allowed above -Bedding for each bed allowed above -Pictures, oil paintings and drawings, drawn or painted by the debtor any family portraits in their necessary frames -One television set or r

5

Food, Fuel, & Provisions

Debtors may exempt six months worth of food, fuel, and provisions for the debtor's individual or family use. A.R.S. ? 33-1124. Generally, this enables debtors to prepay their electric and gas bills for six months and stock up on food. This exemption does not allow debtors to purchase gas cards or grocery cards because such cards can be used for purchases other than food, fuel, and provisions.

6

Clothing

Debtors may exempt up to $500 in their wearing apparel used primarily for personal, family or household purposes. A.R.S. ? 33-1125(1). Married debtors may double this exemption.

7

Engagement & Wedding Rings

Debtors may exempt up to $1000 in all engagement and wedding rings. A.R.S. ? 33-1125(4). Married filers may double this exemption.

8

Sporting Goods & Firearms

Debtors may exempt up to $500 in one typewriter, one bicycle, one sewing machine, a family bible, a burial plot, one shotgun or one rifle or one pistol. A.R.S. ? 33-1125(7). Married filers may double this exemption.

9

Retirement Accounts

Debtors may exempt all amounts in an IRA or 401(k) except those amounts contributed within 120 days of filing. A.R.S. ? 33-1126(B).

Additional Resources

Arizona Exemptions

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