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New Jersey Bankruptcy Exemptions

UPDATED: February 14, 2020

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Federal bankruptcy exemptionsavailable? YES

The New Jersey exemptions are unusual because they don’t contain any homestead exemption for people who own their home. Nevertheless, the New Jersey courts have held that creditors can’t take real property that belongs to spouses who hold it as a tenancy by the entirety when only one spouse is a debtor. Tenancy by entirety means both spouses have equal interest in the property, as well as equal rights of possession. Courts have also held that New Jersey residents who opt for the state exemptions can exempt all their IRAs and higher education trusts, not just the amounts excluded or exempted under the federal exemptions.

The references to state statutes are to the New Jersey Statutes Annotated.


United States Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey

New Jersey Bankruptcy Attorneys

New Jersey Bankruptcy Exemptions
Assets Exemption State Statute
Homestead No exemption.
Insurance Disability benefits: all. 17:18-12
Health or disability benefits: all. 17:18-12; 17B:24-8
Life insurance proceeds/avails: all if the debtor is not the insured. 17B:24-6b
Annuity payments: up to $500 a month. 17B:24-7
Group life or health policy/proceeds: all. 17B:24-9
Life insurance proceeds: all if there is a clause forbidding the proceeds to be used to pay the creditors of the beneficiary. 17B:24-10
Military disability or death benefits: all. 38A:4-8
Civil defense worker disability, death, medical, and hospital benefits: all. App.A-9-57.6
Pensions Federal pension exemptions.
Teacher pensions: all. 18A:66-51
School district employee pensions: all.


Judge pensions: all. 43:6A-41
Prison employee: all. 43:7-13
Alcohol beverage control officer pension: all. 43:8A-20
County employee pensions: all. 43:10-57; 43:10-105
City employee ERISA-qualified benefits: all. 43:13-9
Municipal employee pensions: all. 43:13-44
Public employee pensions: all. 43:15A-53
Police, firefighter, and traffic officer pensions: all. 43:16-7; 43:16A-17
City board of health employee pensions: all. 43:18-12
Street and water department employee pensions: all. 43:19-17
State police pensions: all. 53:5A-45
Civil defense worker pensions: all. App. A:9-57.6
Personal Property Clothing: all. 2A:17-19
Any personal property and stock or interest in any corporation: up to $1,000 in total. 2A:17-19
Furniture and other household goods: up to $1,000.< 2A:26-4
Burial plots: all. 45:27-21
Public Benefits Workers’ compensation benefits: all. 34:15-29
Unemployment compensation benefits: all. 43:21-53
Permanent disability or old age benefits: all. 44:7-35
Tools of Your Trade No exemption.
Wages Wages, earned but unpaid: 90% of an income that is less than 250% of the federal poverty level; 75% of an income that is more than 250% of the federal poverty level. 2A:17-56
Allowances or wages of military personnel: all. 38A:4-8
Wildcard No exemption.

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