ARIZONA BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTIONS PART ONE: HOMESTEAD AND PERSONAL PROPERTY
When you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are asking the court to discharge your unsecured debts. Once you decide to file for bankruptcy, your life and finances will be put under a microscope. If you file in Arizona, you relinquish your right to use federal exemptions during your case and only use the ones provided by the state of Arizona.
The idea of claiming exemptions in a bankruptcy is for the debtor to be able to keep the exempt items. This way housing and other important things are not being surrendered to the trustee for the bankruptcy.
The only way a person can file bankruptcy in the state of Arizona is if they have lived in the state for the last two years. If they have not, they are required to file in the state they previously resided in.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION- A.R.S § 33-1101
The debtor has the right to claim an exemption for the home in which they reside and the land it is on for an amount up to $150,000.
Unlike some of the other exemptions, this cannot be doubled for a husband and wife. This is the total amount of the exemption allowed.
PERSONAL PROPERTY EXEMPTIONS
*A HUSBAND AND WIFE CAN DOUBLE ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY EXEMPTIONS*
- Household furnishings and furniture, household goods, electronic devices, and appliances are exempt up to a fair market value of $6,000. A.R.S. § 33-1123
- Food, fuel, and all provisions that the debtor and/or family would use for a six month period are exempt. A.R.S. § 33-1124
- All clothing or other types of apparel is exempt as long as the fair market value does not exceed $500. A.R.S. § 33-1125 (1)
- Musical instruments that are individually or family used that do not exceed a fair market value of $400. A.R.S. § 33-1125 (2)
- Pets (domestic), horses, cows (milking), and poultry are exemptions with a fair market value not to exceed $500. A.R.S. § 33-1125 (3)
- Engagement and wedding rings can be claimed as long as their fair market value does not exceed $2000. A.R.S. § 33-1125 (4)
- A debtor’s personal library collection, including books, published materials, and personal documents as long as the fair market value does not exceed $250. A.R.S. § 33-1125 (5)
- A single watch, as long as the fair market value does not exceed $150. A.R.S. § 33-1125 (6)
- One of each of the following as long as the fair market value does not exceed $1000. A.R.S. § 33-1125 (7)
- Sewing machine
- Family Bible
- Burial plot
- Shotgun, rifle, or pistol
- One automobile that does not have an equity that exceeds $6000. If the debtor or the dependent of the debtor is disabled, the fair market value of the automobile cannot exceed a total of $12,000. A.R.S. § 33-1125 (8)
- An exemption can be made for a prosthetic that is professionally prescribed for the debtor or a dependent, including the usage of a wheelchair. A.R.S. § 33-1125 (9)
A lot of these are very specific exemptions and must meet extremely specific criteria. This is where finding a good bankruptcy lawyer can help make the most out of the exemptions you are allowed.