Illinois Bankruptcy Exemptions

In the state of Illinois, if the court declares you as bankrupt, your options are limited to use only the state-specified Illinois bankruptcy exemptions; you cannot use the federal list of exemptions in its place. However, like with the majority of other states in the US, you are allowed to use the federal supplemental exemptions in addition to the state-specific exemptions. Following is a general list of properties and assets that are exemptible in this state.


Like many other states in the United States of America, wildcard exemptions are available in the state of Illinois also. You can exempt any personal property (excluding wages) for a maximum value of $4000 in total.


If you have earned certain amount of wages that are yet to be paid, you can get the same exempted up to forty-five times the minimum hourly wage (as per federal or state laws) or eighty-five percent of the weekly wages, whichever is higher.

Tools Of Trade

The maximum limit of Illinois bankruptcy exemptions for tools of trade is $1500 in aggregate total; the assets that can be included in this category are books, implements, and tools that are used by the borrower in a trade for livelihood.

Public Benefits

100% exemptions are available for certain types of public benefits that include Worker’s occupational disease compensation benefits, Workers’ compensation benefits, Crime victim compensation benefits, Veterans’ benefits, Unemployment compensation benefits, Social Security benefits, Public assistance benefits, and blind, age, and disability aid benefits.

Personal Property

Certain types of personal assets and properties can be exempted in full, such as recoveries for wrongful death, health aids, proceeds from sale of exempt property, and deposits in pre-paid tuition trust fund. Other properties that you can exempt 100% include schoolbooks, Bible, family pictures, clothing, and pre-need cemetery sales, care, and trust funds. If you are receiving any personal injury compensation payments, you can get the same exempted up to $15000. The maximum limit for Illinois bankruptcy exemptions for motor vehicles is $2400 (in terms of equity, not current sales value).


The state of Illinois has a long list of exemptions in this category. Pensions benefits that are exemptible in full in this state include public employee pensions, ERISA-qualified benefits and IRAs, benefits for widows and children of firefighters, disabled firefighter pensions, public library employee pensions, house of correction employee pensions, judge pensions, teacher pensions, state university employee pensions, state employee pensions, sanitation district employee pensions, park employee pensions, civil service employee pensions, county employee pensions, municipal employee pensions, firefighter pensions, police officer pensions, pension for general assembly members, and federal employee pensions.


In the miscellaneous category, 100% Illinois bankruptcy exemptions are available for Property owned by business partnership, and alimony and child support payments.


You can exempt up to $15000 of the proceeds if your home is destroyed. Disability/health benefits and fraternal benefit society benefits however are exemptible in full. Life insurance annuity/proceeds/cash value may also be exempted in full if the beneficiary is a dependent family member of the insured, such as parent, spouse, or children.


Full homestead exemptions can be availed for the proceeds from the sale of a homestead property for up to a maximum period of twelve months after sale. In general, up to $15000 of exemption is allowed in any real or personal property that you use for residential purpose. The homestead properties that may be considered for Illinois bankruptcy exemptions in this category may include mobile home, co-op, condo, building, and farm.

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