New Mexico State Exemption List

Under New Mexico bankruptcy law you can use the exemptions found in the U.S. bankruptcy code (11 U.S.C. § 522(d)) or the exemptions provided under New Mexico bankruptcy law.

New Mexico Bankruptcy law does not allow you to mix and match from the two list. You must choose either the federal exemption list or the state exemption list. If you choose the New Mexico State law exemptions, there are several United States exemptions that do exist outside the federal bankruptcy code. Where these exemptions are concerned, you can use them in addition to your state law exemptions. The most important non-bankruptcy exemptions are: wages, social security benefits, civil service benefits and veteran’s benefits.

The following table summarizes the New Mexico State exemptions that can be claimed for real and personal property. These exemptions are filed in the bankruptcy petition. There may be rules about which exemptions that may be used if you have not lived in New Mexico for the two previous years before you filed bankruptcy.

Exempt property is property that can not be claimed by unsecured creditors. You must own an interest in the property to claim it as exempt and not all of your property may be covered by a matching exemption listed. The goal of exemptions is to allow the bankruptcy filer to maintain enough resources to establish a fresh financial standing after declaring bankruptcy.

It is important to discuss all exemptions with a New Mexico Bankruptcy Attorney prior to filing bankruptcy in New Mexico. This list is not exhaustive and is just a general description of allowable exemptions.

One motor vehicle

Exemptions Exemption Amount Statutes
Homestead $30,000(single)/$60,000 (Joint) 42-10-9
If the debtor does not own a homestead, he may claim exemptions, in addition to other exemptions, of real or personal property in the sum of $2,000 in lieu of the homestead exemption. $2,000 (Single)/$4,000 (Joint) 42-10-10
Tools of the trade $1,500/$3,000 42-10-1,2

One motor vehicle

$4,000/$8,000 42-10-1, 2
Personal Property

$500 (Single)/$1,000 (Joint)

42-10-1, 2

Jewelry $2,500 (Single)/$5,000 (Joint) 42-10-1, 2
Benevolent association death benefits $5,000/$10,000 42-10-4

Life, accident, health insurance benefits or annuities

Funds in escrow for payment of construction contractor

Ownership interest in unincorporated


Life insurance proceeds

Property of business partnership

Proceeds from pension/retirement fund

Retirement benefits - educational

Retirement benefits – public employees








42-10-1, 2




  Wage Garnishment Exemption

Minimum 75% of disposable earnings or 40 times the federal hourly minimum wage, whichever is more; bankruptcy judge may authorize more for low-income debtors


N.M. Stat. Ann. § 35-12-7


Wage Garnishment Exemption

Pensions – judges

Pensions – magistrates

Public Assistance

State police pension

Clothing, books, health equipment and


Construction materials

Cooperative association shares

Minimum amount

needed to be a


Oil/gas well materials subject to lien

Motor vehicle

Crime victims compensation

Occupational disease disablement


Unemployment compensation

Workers compensation

Minimum is seventy five percent of disposable earnings or 40 times the federal hourly minimum wage, whichever one is more.







N.M. Stat. Ann. § 35-12-7






42-10-1, 2







42-10-1, 2






***Certain debts such as mortgages, deeds of trust or tax liens will not be wiped out by bankruptcy. The lender will have the right to foreclose on you if you fail to pay your certain debt obligations. ***

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