North Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal set of exemptions cannot be used instead of North Carolina bankruptcy exemptions. Those who get bankrupt in this state get no choice, as they are allowed to use the state-specified exemptions only. The only relief is that they can use the federal supplemental exemptions in conjunction with the same.


You can exempt any personal property for up to $500 in addition to the exemptions offered under the ‘personal property category’ (see below).


If you earned certain wages at least sixty days before petition filing but if the same is yet to be paid, you can exempt it up to an extent that is reasonably needed for support. Here, it is important to note that what is reasonable for you is up to the bankruptcy trustee who is appointed to look after your case.

Tools Of Trade

North Carolina bankruptcy exemptions also allow you to keep tools of trade, books, and implements up to a maximum value of $2000.

Public Benefits

There are five different types of public benefits that a debtor who is declared bankrupt is allowed to exempt in full (100%). The exemptible public benefits include workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, public adult assistance (under work first program), crime victims’ compensation, and aid to blind.

Personal Property

- Any payments that you are receiving as part of a wrongful death compensation claim can be exempted in full provided you were dependent on the deceased person.
- Up to $3500 of equity value in automobiles
- 100% of health aids
- Up to $18500 in burial plot
- Up to $5000 (aggregate total) is allowed to be exempted in household goods & furnishings, appliances, clothing, books, musical instruments, crops, and animals. The provisions regarding North Carolina bankruptcy exemptions also allow you to have addition exemption of $1000 for every additional dependent (up to $4000). Here, it is also important to note that you can qualify for these exemptions only if you have bought these assets and properties at least ninety days prior to filing your petition for bankruptcy.
- Up to $25,000 in 529 College Savings Accounts


The following types of pensions are safe (100% exemptions allowed) even when you go bankrupt under the chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code in the state of North Carolina.

- Teachers & state employees pensions
- Retirement benefits from other states
- County, city, and municipal employees pensions
- Legislators pensions
- Law enforcement officers pensions
- Roth IRAs and IRAs
- Firefighter & rescue squad workers pensions.


North Carolina bankruptcy exemptions in the miscellaneous category can be availed in the following manner.

- Up to $10000 (for a period of up to twelve months) in any support payments received by a surviving spouse
- Child support payments, separate maintenance, and alimony payments up to an extent that is reasonably necessary for support


life insurance on spouse or children, fraternal benefit society benefits, and employee group life policy or proceeds are exemptible in full.

Homestead Properties

North Carolina bankruptcy exemptions of up to $35000 can be availed for any personal or real property (including co-op), which you use for residential purpose. The exemptions limit gets doubled for married couples. There is also a provision that allows debtors above 65 years or the one whose spouse is deceased to exempt homestead properties up to a maximum equity value of $60000.

You are advised to discuss your case with a qualified and experienced North Carolina bankruptcy attorney before you file your petition. Only a specialized lawyer, after studying the different factors associated with your case, can give you a more accurate evaluation on what kind of North Carolina bankruptcy exemptions you may qualify for.

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One Response to “North Carolina Bankruptcy Exemptions”

  1. Martin says:

    Very wonderful and informative tips. Bankruptcy process is quite a complicated one. The person who is going to be declared as bankrupt go through very different mental status so it becomes the duty of the state authorities to provide some essential exemptions so that he / she can lead a normal life even after bankruptcy. North Carolina gives you a chance to combine Federal supplemental exemptions with the state specific exemptions. Under tools of Trade category you can keep books some other tools of your trade with you up to a certain limit of money. North Carolina exempt worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation etc up to 100% of its value. These five types of benefits come under the category of public benefits and are fully exempted. Some other type of claims can be getting exempted under the category of personal property. If you are taking any death compensation, it will be fully exempted. Health aids will also be fully exempted and some certain amount for furnishings, musical instruments, crops etc will also be exempted 100%. Some categories of pensions will also be 100 % exempted like teachers and state employee pensions etc.

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