If you file for bankruptcy in Tennessee, you can keep certain assets to support a fresh financial start. The court will review a list of your property to determine what you can retain and what you must sell to repay creditors, if anything.
Understanding the state bankruptcy exemptions can help you determine how to move forward if you have substantial debt you cannot pay.
Home and vehicle
Under the Tennessee homestead exemption, you can keep:
- $5,000 in home equity as a single person filing for bankruptcy
- $7,500 if you own your home with someone else
- $10,000 if you and your spouse file for bankruptcy together
- $12,500 if you are single and at least 62 years old
- $20,000 if you are 62 or older and married
- $25,000 if you have one or more minor children in your household, or if you and your spouse file together and are both at least 62 years old
Tennessee does not have a vehicle exemption, but you can choose to apply a $10,000 wildcard exemption to the value of your car or truck.
The state allows you to keep clothing, medical devices, family portraits, books and family burial plots. You can retain funds held in health savings accounts, pensions and most retirement accounts, as well as public benefits, Social Security benefits, workers’ compensation, benefits you receive as a veteran, and unemployment compensation. Tennessee protects up to $19,000 in tools, books and equipment used for work.
In addition to your assets, the bankruptcy court will review your income and debts to determine whether you qualify for debt relief under Chapter 7 bankruptcy or reorganization with a Chapter 13 filing.