What assets can you keep after bankruptcy?

When you file for bankruptcy in Louisiana, the state exemptions determine the assets you can keep. Unlike some states, Louisiana does not allow you to choose between state and federal exemptions.

If you have concerns about losing your property in bankruptcy, review the available exemptions in Louisiana.

Homestead exemption

Under Louisiana bankruptcy law, you can keep up to $35,000 in home and land equity. The land in question must not exceed five acres in a suburban or urban location or 200 acres in a rural location. All your home equity may be exempt if you are filing bankruptcy because of the cost of a catastrophic illness or injury.

Personal property exemptions

If you file for bankruptcy, you can keep:

  • Up to $7,500 in one motor vehicle and up to $7,500 for a second motor vehicle outfitted for a disabled household member
  • Burial plots
  • Up to $2,500 in guns and ammunition
  • Up to $5,000 for engagement and wedding rings
  • Household pets and livestock, with a limit of one cow
  • Musical instruments
  • Military items
  • Family portraits
  • Clothing
  • Appliances
  • Furniture and household items
  • Tools of your trade

In addition to material items, you can protect certain life insurance and pension benefits as well as qualifying tax-exempt retirement plans. The law also lets you preserve wages up to 30 times the minimum wage or 75% of your salary (whichever amount is higher).

If you and your spouse plan to file for bankruptcy together, you can double all Louisiana exemptions except for the homestead exemption.