Arkansas Bankruptcy Exemptions

The state of Arkansas allows you to use Federal set of exemptions instead of Arkansas bankruptcy exemptions. However, if you choose to go with the state-specific exemptions, you are allowed to use federal supplement exemptions in addition to the assets and properties that are already exemptible under the Arkansas bankruptcy laws.

Wild Card

Arkansas is one of those few states that allow wild card exemptions, which can be used to exempt any personal property that are otherwise either not exemptible. The maximum exemption limit in this category is $500 for a single person who is the head of the family or for married couple who file a joint petition for bankruptcy. For other individuals, the maximum limit is $200. If the exemption limit for a certain property is $1500, an individual can use the wild card to get that property exempted up to the value of $1700.


A minimum of $25 of wages (earned but unpaid) per week is exemptible under Arkansas bankruptcy exemptions for a maximum period of 60 days.

Tools Of Trade

Tools of trade are exemptible up to the maximum amount of $750 that may include books and implements.

Public Benefits

100% exemptions are allowed for certain types of public benefits that the debtor might be receiving, such as Crime victims’ compensation benefits, Unemployment benefits, and Workers’ compensation benefits.

Personal Property

Some of your personal properties are exemptible in full, such as prepaid funeral trusts, engagement and wedding rings, and clothing. The maximum limit of motor vehicle exemptions is $1200. Here, it is important to note that the vehicle exemptions apply to the available equity you own on that vehicle, not its current sales value. It means if your vehicle is worth $10000 and the current outstanding balance on your car loan is $1000 only, you can keep that vehicle. If the current outstanding balance on your auto loan is $3000 (for example), the bankruptcy trustee will sell off the vehicle and you will be paid $1200 in cash. But, in most cases, you do have an option to save your car by committing in writing that you will continue making the monthly payments toward your auto loan. However, it is entirely up to the bankruptcy court to make a final decision in this regard.

Pension Benefits

Arkansas bankruptcy exemptions allow you to exempt certain types of pension benefits in full value, such as disabled firefighter pension, disabled police officer pension, police officer pensions, firefighter pensions, school employee pensions, state police officer pension, and federal pension exemptions. Deposits in IRA are also safe up to $20,000 provided the deposits were made at least twelve months before filing the bankruptcy petition.


The insurance benefits that are exemptible in full include annuity contract, disability benefits, group life insurance, fraternal benefit society benefits, and stipulated insurance premiums. Proceeds of life insurance policies may also be exempted in full but certain conditions apply; for example, the policy contract must have a clause that prohibits the use of the proceeds to pay the creditors and that the beneficiary must be different from the insured. The maximum amount of money that is allowed to be exempted for mutual assessment or disability insurance benefits is $1000.


Arkansas bankruptcy exemptions for urban homestead are allowed for up to one acre of property (but not less than ΒΌ acre), but its value must not exceed $2500. For rural homestead, up to 160 acres of properties (but not less than 80 acres) are exemptible but its value must not exceed $2500. Here, it is important to note that unlike many other states, Arkansas does not allow double homestead exemption limit for married couples.

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