Below are some examples of typical state exemptions. Some of the exempt items listed (sewing machines, farm tools) are a holdover from earlier days when such items would have been essential to the debtor’s ability to rebuild a life.
ALABAMA: Residents may not elect federal exemptions. State exemptions include up to $5,000 in homestead equity and up to $3,000 in personal property. Personal items such as family books and photos are exempt.
ARIZONA: Residents may not elect federal exemptions. Residents may exempt up to $100,000 in homestead property and up to $4,000 in household furnishings and appliances, food and provisions for use of individual or family for six months, life insurance proceeds, retirement fund, tools or equipment used in a trade or profession.
CALIFORNIA: Residents can elect federal exemptions or California exemptions. California homestead exemptions include up to $50,000 in home equity for individuals, up to $75,000 in home equity for heads of households, and up to $100,000 for seniors or disabled individuals. Ordinarily and reasonably necessary household furnishings and clothing used by the debtor and spouse are completely exempt. Other exemptions include jewelry, heirlooms, and works of art up to $5,000, tools of trade up to $5,000 per spouse, cemetery plots.
FLORIDA: Residents may not elect federal exemptions. Homestead is completely exempt. Personal property worth up to $1,000 is exempt. Personal vehicle up to $1,000 is exempt. Professionally pre-scribed health aids are exempt.
IDAHO: Residents may not elect federal exemptions. Homestead equity of up to $50,000 is exempt. Personal property valued up to $500 per item or an aggregate of $4,000 for all items is exempt; jewelry of aggregate value up to $250 is exempt; personal vehicle up to $1,500 is exempt; professional books and tools of the trade up to aggregate value of $1,000 is exempt.
KENTUCKY: Residents may not elect federal exemptions. Real or personal property valued up to $5,000 used by the debtor as a residence is exempt. Personal property valued up to $3,000; equipment and livestock valued up to $3,000 and personal vehicle valued up to $2,500 are exempt.
MICHIGAN: Homestead exemption of up to 40 acres of land and dwelling house not exceeding $3,500 in value are exempt. Family pictures and clothing are exempt. Household goods not exceeding $1,000 are exempt. Seat or pew used by debtor in public house of worship is exempt. Individual Retirement Account is exempt.
NEVADA: Residents may not elect federal exemptions. Homestead equity up to $125,000 is exempt. Private libraries up to $1,500 in value and personal belongings up to $3,000 in value are exempt. Farm trucks, stock, and equipment not to exceed $4,500 are exempt; tools of the profession not to exceed $4,500 are exempt. Qualified retirement plans not exceeding $500,000 in present-day value are exempt.
NEW YORK: Homestead equity of up to $10,000 is exempt. Personal belongings such as family bible, pictures, school books, one sewing machine, pets and pet food, all clothing and household furniture, one television set, one refrigerator, one radio, one wedding ring, one watch up to $35 in value are exempt.
OKLAHOMA: Homestead is exempt. Exempt personal property may include all household furniture; cemetery plots; family books, portraits, and pictures; clothing valued up to $4,000; five milk cows and their calves up to six months old; 100 chickens; two horses and two bridles and two saddles; one gun; one vehicle valued up to $3,000; ten hogs; twenty sheep; and one year’s supply of provisions for stock.
RHODE ISLAND: There is no exemption for homestead. Exempt personal property includes clothing up to $500; furniture up to $1,000; bibles, school books, and family books valued up to $300; cemetery plot.
UTAH: Residents may not elect federal exemptions. Homestead equity up to $10,000 is exempt. Personal property such as burial plots; necessary health aids; clothing not including jewelry and furs; one washing machine; one dryer; one microwave oven; one refrigerator; one freezer; one stove; one sewing machine; beds and bedding are exempt. Personal vehicle up to $2,500 is exempt. Household furnishings up to $1,000 in value are exempt. Heirlooms up to $500 are exempt. Animals, books, and musical instruments up to $500 are exempt. Tools of trade up to $3,500 are exempt.
WASHINGTON: Resident may elect state exemptions, federal exemptions, or both. Homestead equity up to $30,000 is exempt. Personal property that is exempt includes clothing; jewelry, and furs valued up to $1,000; private libraries valued up to $1,500 per individual; household furnishings up to $2,700; two cars; $100 in cash; and tools of the trade not to exceed $5,000 in value.