Vermont Bankruptcy Exemption

If you do not like to use the Vermont bankruptcy exemptions, you have an option to replace the same with the federal set of exemptions. However, it is very important for you to keep in mind that the federal supplemental exemptions are available to only those debtors who use the exemptions offered by the state.


The Vermont bankruptcy laws allow you to exempt up to $7000 (aggregate total) of the unused portions of exemptions from other categories, including crops, clothing, appliances, household furniture, jewelry, tools of trade, and motor vehicle. Besides that, you are also allowed to use an additional $400 to exempt just any asset or property of your choice.


Though Vermont bankruptcy court has the right to offer up to 100% of exemptions in wages to those debtors who have a very low monthly income, there is still a general guideline for the maximum exemption limit, as per which a debtor can exempt thirty times the minimum hourly wage as per federal standard or at least seventy five percent of weekly wages, whichever is higher.

Tools of trade

You can avail Vermont bankruptcy exemptions of up to $5000 for tools used in a trade, including books.

Public Benefits

There are also provisions to exempt certain different types of public benefits. You can avail exemptions for Workers’ compensation (100%), Veterans’ benefits (up to an extent that is reasonably needed for support), Unemployment compensation (100%), Social Security benefits (up to an amount needed for support), Crime victims’ compensation (as much as is needed for support), general assistance (100%), and aid to disabled, aged, and blind (100%).

Personal Properties

The exemptions for different types of properties are available in the following manner.

- You can keep sewing machines, water heater, freezer, refrigerator, heating unit, and Stove
- 100% of wrongful death recoveries, lost future earnings, and/or Personal injury compensation provided the payments are either payable to the debtor to someone who is dependent on the debtor.
- Up to $2,500 in motor vehicles
- You can keep your wedding ring(s)
- Up to $500 in jewelry
- 100% in health aids
- Up to $700 for cash deposited in a bank account
- Up to $2500 in aggregate total for musical instruments, animals, crops, books, clothing, goods, furnishings, and appliances.
- Vermont bankruptcy exemptions also allow you to keep two horses with chains, halters and harnesses; yoke of oxen or steers, plow & ox yoke; Up to $5,000 in growing crops; bottled gas up to 500 gallon; up to ten cords of firewood; 500 gallon of heating oil or five tons of coal; three swarms of bees plus honey; up to ten chickens and feed to last twelve months; ten sheep; two goats, and cow.

Retirement Savings And Pensions

You can also avail full exemptions for certain types of pensions that include Teachers pensions, State employees pensions, Municipal employees pensions, and others (as per court order). Retirement savings accounts (Keoghs, IRAs, and other self-directed accounts) are also exemptible in full provided you made the contributions at least twelve months before filing your petition for bankruptcy.


Vermont bankruptcy exemptions can be availed in full (100%) for child support payments and alimony payments in the miscellaneous category.


Insurance benefits are also exemptible in the state of Vermont as per the following provisions.

- Unmatured life insurance contract
- Life insurance proceeds provided there is a specific clause in the agreement that does not allow the use of the proceeds to pay off debts that debtors owe to some creditors.
- Life insurance proceeds for someone the debtor depended on
- Up to $200 on a monthly basis in health benefits
- 100% of group health or life benefits
- Fraternal benefit society benefits
- Illness or disability benefits up to an amount that is reasonably needed for support
- Disability benefits that supplement annuity contract or life insurance
- Up to $350 on a monthly basis in annuity contract benefits

Tenancy by Entirety

The laws regarding Vermont bankruptcy exemptions also allow you to exempt property held as tenancy by the entirety but this exemption can be used only against the debts of just one spouse.


- Homestead exemptions in the state of Vermont can be claimed by spouse of deceased owner.
- Debtors are also allowed to claim out-buildings, profits, issues, and rents related to the homestead properties
- The maximum exemption limit in this category is $75,000, which can be used for any real property including mobile home

The above description is just a general overview on how the Vermont bankruptcy exemptions work under chapter 7 bankruptcy in the state of Vermont. If you want to get a more accurate version of how much exactly you can exempt on which types of assets and properties, you should consider hiring an experienced Vermont bankruptcy lawyer.

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