Bankruptcy is designed to provide a debtor with a fresh financial start. To facilitate that, the bankruptcy code provides that people are allowed to exempt, or protect, property they own at the time they file bankruptcy. They delegated these exemptions to the states, while providing for some federal exemptions. As a general rule, a debtor may claim the exemptions of the state they live in, so long as they have lived in that state for two years straight. Today, we will go over some of the most important exemptions allowed in Idaho.
These numbers are current as of April 2022, and are subject to legislative changes in the future.
Homestead Exemption. $175,000 is allowed for a home you live in or intend to live in (so long as some requirements are met prior to filing). Idaho Code § 55-1003.
Vehicles are protected up to $10,000 in value per vehicle, limited to one vehicle per Debtor. Idaho Code § 11-605(3).
Firearms are exempt up to $1,500 per firearm, limited to one firearm per Debtor. Idaho Code 11-605(8).
Household goods are exempt up to $7,500 per debtor. This includes furnishings, kitchen supplies, and computers used for household purposes, among other things. Idaho Code § 11-605(1)
Books, heirlooms, and musical instruments are also exempt up to $7,500 per debtor. Idaho Code 11-605(1).
Wages are exempt up to 75%. This means that if all the funds in your bank account are directly traceable to wages earned from a job, 75% of that amount on the day the bankruptcy was filed are protected. Idaho Code § 11-207.
Social security and veteran’s benefits, including retirement and veteran’s disability payments, are fully protected. Idaho Code § 11-603.
Tools of Trade are protected up to $10,000 per person in value. To be a tool of trade, the property must be tailored specifically towards the business that is being run. Idaho Code § 11-605(3).
Many retirement plans are protected in full, although a thorough analysis of the retirement documents must be reviewed to confirm they are protected, as some retirement plans are not. Idaho Code § 11-604A.
The Wildcard exemption of $1,500 per debtor protects just about all other tangible personal property.
While there are many other Idaho exemptions, the above are the most commonly claimed.
Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases end without any distribution of assets, and a Debtor is able to keep much of their property. To determine that state exemptions that are appropriate for you, and how to best utilize these exemptions, come meet with our bankruptcy attorney. We provide professional advice, and we do not charge anything for the first meeting unless you choose to file through our office. Give us a call or text at (208) 719-0232.