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  1. Louisiana Bankruptcy Exemptions: Can I keep my house?

The Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River and Louisiana’s extensive bayous frame the backdrop to Louisiana’s unique melting pot that include Cajun and Creole cultures. We owe a debt to New Orleans for giving birth to jazz, and, of course, it’s also famous for Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, the Garden District and

In this post, we’ll discuss how to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Louisiana, what property you can keep through Louisiana’s bankruptcy exemptions, and where the bankruptcy courts in Louisiana are located.

Louisiana Bankruptcy Exemptions: Can I keep my house?

Some states allow you to choose between their list of exemptions and the federal exemptions list, but Louisiana is not one of those states. If you file for bankruptcy in Louisiana, you must use the Louisiana bankruptcy exemptions list.

Remember: Exemptions refer to your equity in the property rather than the total value of the property. If you are married and filing a joint bankruptcy with your spouse, both of you can use your exemptions in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if you qualify. That means, in effect, that you can get double exemptions for marital property.

Let’s look at some of the most popular exemptions available in Louisiana.

Louisiana Bankruptcy Exemptions

The top 5 exemptions under Louisiana state law.
Type of exemptionLouisiana law
Homestead$35,000 in equity in the home in which you live and the land on which it sits.
Personal propertyCertain household goods, furniture, pets, and more; $5,000 in wedding and engagement rings; $2,500 in firearms
Vehicle$7,500, can double if married
Wages75% of disposable earnings or 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater

Homestead or Residential Property

Louisiana allows an exemption up to $75,000 for a home that is your residence under La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 20:1. The exemption is limited to five acres if the residence is within the city limits, or up to 200 acres if it’s outside city limits.

Example: If you have $34,000 in equity in your $250,000 home on four acres within city limits, it will not be sold, because there is a $75,000 exemption. But if you have $170,000 in equity in that same $250,000 home, the bankruptcy trustee could sell it in order to help pay your debt if you filed bankruptcy as an individual.

If you filed bankruptcy jointly with your spouse and the house is marital property, you can each use a $75,000 exemption and the house would just make it to be safe from the bankruptcy trustee in this case.

Personal Property

Under La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881 certain personal property is exempt. This includes household goods, furniture, household pets, family portraits, musical instruments, kitchen utensils, and more. It also includes firearms and ammunition up to $2,500, and wedding or engagement rings up to $5,000.

Motor Vehicle

You can exempt one motor vehicle up to an amount of $7,500 in equity under La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881.

Example: You are filing bankruptcy as a single person, and you have a car valued at $25,000. Your equity in the car of $14,000 far exceeds the allowable exemption of $7,500. The trustee can sell your car to pay your debts.

On the other hand, if you are filing a bankruptcy jointly with your spouse and the car is marital property, the trustee could not sell the car under these circumstances, because you and your spouse can each use a $7,500 exemption for the car, totaling $15,000. Your equity of $14,000 would be less than the $15,000 allowable exemption.


You are allowed to exempt 75% of your disposable earnings or 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater, under La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3881.

Insurance Benefits

You can protect some life insurance benefits under Title 22 of the Louisiana Revised Statues, including fraternal benefit society benefits, group insurance policies, accident and health insurance proceeds, and life insurance or endowment policies. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 22:298, 22:944, 22:1015, 22:912.


Under La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §20.33, pensions, tax-deferred arrangements, and annuity contracts are exempt as are gratuitous payments made by employers to employees such as payments for length of service and more.

Public Benefits

Under La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §46.111, all assistance is “exempt from levy or execution.”

Under La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §46.1811, payment from the Crime Victims Reparations Fund is exempt.

You may think you can save money by filing your own bankruptcy, but a good Louisiana bankruptcy attorney knows how to protect your assets. Learn more about why filing a pro se bankruptcy is a bad idea here. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you to make the best of your situation and get your financial life back on track.

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